Skype group video calls finally free on Windows, Mac desktops and Xbox

Users are allowed to make calls for up to 100 hours per month

Microsoft is now letting Skype users make group video calls for free via PCs, Macs and the Xbox.

For the last few years, Microsoft has been offering group video calling to premium Skype users for US$8.99 per month on Windows and Mac desktop and laptops and more recently the Xbox One. But with competing services like Google Hangouts offering the same functionality for free it has become increasingly difficult for Microsoft to charge for the feature.

On Monday, Microsoft relented and made the calls free for users on PCs, Macs and the Xbox One. The company plans to make group video calls available on other platforms, but didn't say which ones or when. Of particular interest are tablets, which have screens big enough to make room for multiple users at the same time.

The group video calls let users talk to up to 10 people, but Microsoft recommends calls with up to five people for the best quality.

The calls are subject to a fair usage limit of 100 hours per month with no more than 10 hours per day and a limit of 4 hours per individual video call, according to Microsoft. Once these limits have been reached, the video will switch off and the call will convert to an audio call, it said.

Skype Premium is currently being repacked and users are asked to check back for details.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MicrosoftinternetvideoInternet-based applications and servicesTelephony/conferencing

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?