Microsoft isn’t sitting on its laurels when it comes to Office 365—they’ve just rolled out Skype Meetings, which allows small businesses to collaborate with real-time audio and HD video conferencing. It’s available for free, which could just be the key to cutting ties with the more costly conferencing tools you use right now.

For the time being, Microsoft is making Skype Meetings free of charge, within certain limits. But, even with restrictions, it could the right tool to accelerate the pace of change and collaborative spirit within a small business. Skype Meetings allows operators to share their screen and other content during the meeting, and while that’s happening, users are able to chat or use the laser pointer feature to call out certain areas of a presentation or CAD file.

We all have that one co-worker who pipes in a little too often, or decides to pop open a bag of Doritos during the meeting—luckily, Skype Meetings allows for the presenter to selectively mute the audience.

This is a special offer that Microsoft is running for new customers only—if you aren’t using Office 365 yet, but are thinking about it, you can set up Meetings with up to 10 people in the first 60 days, and up to three people after that, all free of cost.


An example of the Skype Meetings interface; image courtesy Microsoft

For those who are already using Office 365, don’t fret. Your subscription already comes with even better Meetings features than these free ones for new customers. You can invite up to 250 people into your group meetings, or message any other employee at any time, and it’s all integrated with the other Office 365 services you use, like Outlook.

But if you’re looking into Office 365 for the first time, the incentives have never been higher. Ready to incorporate Skype meetings into your business? Take our quiz to find out how you could benefit from a move to the cloud.