Microsoft’s new Skype Meetings caters to the Office 365 Business crowd

If you use Office 365 for your business or think you might want to, Microsoft has some added incentive for you. The company has launched a web-based, business-focused videoconference service similar to the Skype app, called Skype Meetings. The big draw here is Office 365 integration for paid users. Anyone can use it for free, up to 10 people for the first 60 days, then three people thereafter unless you subscribe to Office 365 Business, as reported on The Verge.

If you don’t use Office 365 and have no plans to do so, you could still give Skype Meetings a trial run, just to see if there are any must-have tools or capabilities you suddenly can’t live without now that you know they exist. That’s a long shot, we know, but PowerPoint collaboration and screen sharing could make a difference for some businesses.

To set up a Skype meeting, simply send invitees a personalized link they can use with any internet-connected device. You can host an unlimited number of meetings within the 60-day trial period. During videoconferences, you can chat with other attendees and share files and screens — features you can find in other free videoconference software, though not always web-based, which is an advantage with Skype Meetings. Concurrent whiteboard editing is a nice additional feature, but PowerPoint uploading with annotation, highlighting, and a laser pointer is the biggest plum in the pie.

If you do the trial run and find you didn’t use it much, or never with more than three people, you’re fine as is. You’ll be limited to three attendees per meeting but everything else will work as before. If you’re already an Office 365 Business or Enterprise subscriber, Skype Meetings is included, so you’re good to go.

If, however, you’re not currently an Office 365 Business subscriber and you find that three people is not enough, and especially if during the 60-day trial your team began using Skype Meetings more and more, you could take a look at the Office 365 plans. They include full online versions of Microsoft Office, as well as Skype Meetings for up to 250 attendees. Prices start at $6 per user on a monthly subscription, or $60 per year.

Buy Office 365 now


Apple AirPods may be used to spy on conversations, but please don’t

Apple added Live Listen to the AirPods through the iOS 12 update last September, to help users with minor hearing issues. However, a viral tweet is suggesting that the feature may be used to eavesdrop on the conversations of other people.

Secure your Excel documents with a password by following these quick steps

Excel documents are used by people and businesses all over the world. Given how often they contain sensitive information, it makes sense to keep them from the wrong eyes. Thankfully, it's easy to secure them with a password.
Home Theater

Smart speakers the likely cause of Chromecast Audio’s untimely demise

Goodbye Chromecast Audio, we hardly knew you. Google confirms rumors that it has killed Chromecast Audio, the inexpensive wireless music streamer that let people breathe new life into their old audio systems.
Emerging Tech

You may soon be able to summon an autonomous wheelchair like an Uber

At CES 2019, autonomous wheelchair company Whill unveiled its vision for a world in which people can summon its wheelchairs by app, in locations such as museums, airports, and city centers.

A new Twitter page signals Oppo’s official launch in the U.K.

You may not have heard of them, but Oppo -- parent company of OnePlus -- is on its way to the U.K., While details on the launch are thin on the ground, we expect to hear more about this launch in the near future.
Emerging Tech

SpaceX nails its first launch and landing of 2019, but job cuts loom

SpaceX has nailed its first launch and landing of 2019 with a mission that deployed more satellites for Virginia-based Iridium Communications. But the success was soured somewhat by reports of upcoming job losses at the company.

‘Aquaman’ becomes first DC cinematic universe movie to cross $1 billion

Aquaman fell to second place at the weekend box office, but its worldwide earnings crossed the $1 billion mark, making it the first film in Warner Bros. Pictures' DC Extended Universe to do so.
Emerging Tech

The enormous ‘Flying Bum’ moves toward a commercial design

A prototype of the world's largest aircraft is being retired as the company behind it prepares to build a production model. The new Airlander 10, also known as the "Flying Bum," could be ready for commercial use by 2025.

Tidal faces legal jeopardy over fake stream numbers accusation

In another challenging chapter for music subscription service Tidal, Norwegian authorities have begun a formal investigation into charges that the company faked millions of streams for artists such as Kanye West and Beyoncé.

Best tax software deals from TurboTax, H&R Block, and more

Do you dread doing your taxes? Luckily for you, there are plenty of tax software options available to guide you through the process. And guess what? Some of them are even on sale today! Check out deals from TurboTax, H&R Block, and…

Cathay Pacific messes up first-class ticket prices — again

A couple of weeks ago, an error on Cathay Pacific's website resulted in first-class seats selling for a tenth of the price. On Sunday, January 13, the airline made the error again. The good news is that it'll honor the bookings.
Emerging Tech

Drones: New rules could soon allow flights over people and at night

With commercial operators in mind, the U.S. government is looking to loosen restrictions on drone flights with a set of proposals that would allow the machines greater freedom to fly over populated areas and also at night.

Some of Volkswagen’s electric models will wear a ‘Made in the USA’ label

Confirming earlier rumors, Volkswagen has announced it will build electric cars in its Chattanooga, Tennessee, factory. The facility currently produces the Passat and the Atlas. Production will start in 2023, Digital Trends can reveal.