O Skype has a functionality similar to Zoom for video calls Meet Now, which does not require a Skype account or even the installed app. THE Microsoft want to draw attention to this feature with a new button on the taskbar of Windows 10.
The new appeared a few weeks ago and was made official by Microsoft in build 20221 of Windows 10, available to users in the Insider program. “Now you can easily set up a video call and get in touch with friends and family in an instant by clicking on the Meet Now icon in the notification area”, explains the company.
This feature is being released to some users on the Dev channel, formerly known as Fast Ring or fast mode, “to help us quickly identify problems that may affect performance and reliability”. This will be distributed to everyone on the Dev channel over time.
Skype Meet Now competes with Zoom and Google Meet
Skype Gather Now looks great: you can create a video call in a few clicks, and invite people who don’t have a Skype account. It is not necessary to have the app installed: video conferencing can be done via the web, with support for Microsoft Edge (of course) and Google Chrome browsers. Each call can last up to 24 hours, and the recording is available for thirty days.
Still, it can be annoying to see an icon appear out of nowhere on the taskbar with a feature you haven’t activated or installed. Most users have already adopted alternatives such as Zoom, Google Meet and Facebook Messenger Rooms to communicate with friends, relatives and co-workers during social isolation in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fortunately, build 20221 brings two small new features that may be more useful:
- Windows 10 will display a notification when a program is configured to run during startup, so that the user has more control over it;
- the People app no longer appears independently on the Start menu: it will need to be opened via Email or Calendar, something that most users have already been doing.