How To Use The New Skype New No Sign Up Free Meetings
I have to say I was very excited to see the news that Microsoft had just launched a new no sign up version of Skype to try and address some of the demand for instant video meetings that the world is experiencing right now. So I thought I’d give it a go.
Is my love affair with Zoom ending?
I have enjoyed using Zoom for quite a while now, and despite how much their traffic has grown in the past month or so, due to everyone being locked away at home, the quality of meetings on Zoom has remained excellent.
Others have had concerns and problems with Zoom, that’s for sure, and because several people complained to me that they had unexpected visitors gate-crashing their conference calls, I wrote a short article on how to secure Zoom.
Nevertheless, it has been the most reliable and easy to use for me so far. But let’s see how easy Skype’s new free, no sign up option really is.
First impressions: No sign up is true!
Well, I was expecting it to be a bit harder than this, but it started off actually very well. I simply headed over to Skype’s No-Sign up Free Conference Call page, clicked the “Start Free Meeting” button and bingo! My room was created, ready to share. Fantastic!
I just copied the link and according to the wording on their webpage, I could share the link now with friends, colleagues or family as often as I needed.
The link doesn’t expire either, so if you want to have a regular call at 3.30pm every Tuesday, you don’t have to keep creating and sharing new links. That is a nice feature, but without care it could lead to the unexpected cameo appearances that my post on how to secure Zoom was talking about.
Taking it for a spin: Joining the Free Skype meeting.
This is where it became “a bit Microsofty”.
I will admit, I am an Apple user but I am not a Microsoft-basher. Nothing would give me more pleasure than to find a Microsoft product or service that simply works. (I won’t bore you with the details of how difficult it is to log into Microsoft’s Bing Webmaster Tools using Safari.)
So after I clicked Start Call, it asked me if I wanted to use the Skype Desktop App that I already had installed. I decided not to, and then found out that Skype isn’t currently supported on Safari, only Microsoft Edge and Chrome. Well, that’s frustrating.
So I went back and regenerated my meeting link and clicked Start Call – this time choosing “yes” to the prompt about using the Desktop App.
The app opened, created a meeting and weirdly added and removed the Skype Assistant.
I had to then click Start Call again which took me into a call with the rather strange looking, but probably quite useful blurred background effect you can see in the featured image of this post (above).
But then it seemed the call still hadn’t started, so I clicked Start Call again. This time it did start.
I then clicked the End Call button, and the main screen disappeared. Great, or so I thought. As I looked around my screen, there was still Skype call window open. Clicking the End Call button on that (now for the 2nd time) terminated the call.
Watch out – I had to click the End Call button in two different windows to end the call
How was the quality?
The quality was quite good. The lip sync was initially out, meaning the other person’s lips didn’t match their voice, and there was some stutter, but it sorted itself out pretty quickly. I will try to use this a few more times in the coming days to see how it works “in the real world” when trying to use it for proper meetings.
With the no-sign up, and non-expiring meetings, this could be really helpful if the quality is reliable. As a Mac user, I will need to remember it will take me (and any fellow Mac meeting participants) a few extra steps to get into the call, but I think that will be ok.
Have you used it? What was your experience, do let me know.
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