Skype alternatives

Skype
Skype is a software application that allows users to make voice and video calls and chats over the Internet. Calls to other users within the Skype service are free, while calls to both traditional landline telephones and mobile phones can be made for a fee using a debit-based user account system. Skype has also become popular for its additional features which include instant messaging, file transfer, and videoconferencing. Skype alternative for enterprise is called Skype for Business. Secure Skype alternatives are Signal and Telegram.
Here are the latest news about Skype:

15.12.16 Skype adds real-time translation to all VoIP calls


Last year Skype launched built-in Translator that allows to translate speech in real-time. Until now this feature was available only in video chat, but in the new version you'll be able to call people around the world and have your conversation interpreted instantaneously - even if they're using the last remaining rotary phone. When placing a call, users just need to set their language of choice and the tool will take care of the rest. The person on the other end of the line will hear a message stating that the call is being recorded and translated through the service, which will be very clear once the conversation begins. Windows Insider Program members will be the first to have access to the new feature. To date, nine spoken languages are supported: English, Spanish, French, German, Mandarin Chinese, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, Arabic and Russian.



2016 Skype now allows to make calls without registration



Last year Skype enabled to invite to chat or video call people that don't have Skype account. Now it's possible to start chat and calls without registration also. All you have to do is go to Skype.com and click "Start a Conversation." You type in your name, it creates the chat with its own unique link that you can send to friends or colleagues. They don't need to use an account either. You can invite up to 300 people in a text chat or up to 25 on voice or video calls. The conversation only lasts for 24 hours, so you won't be able to go through your post history afterwards. You also won't be able to use Skype Translator or call phone numbers with the service; those still require you to have a Skype account.



2016 Skype gets Bots



In the new version of the Skype for Windows 10, Microsoft added several Skype bots, the automated chat assistants that it introduced earlier this year in a limited preview. The new bots include those that can help you make travel arrangements, locate event tickets, pull in information from other applications and services and even keep you entertained. For example, the Skyscanner Bot lets you search for individual or group flights, return pricing information and route options. Then, it will provide a link where users can go to complete the booking.



2016 Microsoft launched free Skype Meetings for small business



Microsoft launched Skype Meetings, a new audio and video conferencing tool specifically designed for small businesses. Unlike the fully featured Skype for Business product (that allows you to host meetings with up to 250 people and it’s deeply integrated into Outlook, Word and PowerPoint), Skype Meetings only allows PowerPoint collaboration (screen sharing, laser pointer, etc.) and screen sharing. Video calls are also limited to a maximum of 10 people during the first two months. After that, the maximum number of participants drops to three people. Participants can join Skype Meetings from virtually any device with the help of a personalized URL and the calls are powered by the same technology as Skype for Business calls. That means you will get to take advantage of Skype’s head tracking feature, for example, which ensures that a face will always be in the center of the screen, no matter where it is in the actual video image.



2016 Skype voice and video calls now work plugin-free in Microsoft Edge


Microsoft is making Skype in the browser plugin-free, but for now - only in Microsoft Edge. Other browsers, including IE, Chrome, Firefox and Safari, will continue to require plugins as before. This includes Outlook.com, Office Online, and OneDrive, all of which, along with Skype for Web, will now support real-time, plugin-free voice, video and group calling when you’re using Microsoft Edge. The company has been more recently working on ways to allow anyone to join a Skype chat, even if they don’t have an account. Skype for Web was one easy way to connect these invitees to your chat session, but installing browser plugins could slow down that experience. Now when those users are on Edge, they can just click a link and start chatting.