Skype makes group video calls free for Windows 8.1 tablets

Following an initial roll-out in April, Microsoft-owned Skype has announced that owners of Windows tablets and Windows 2-in-1 devices can now enjoy free group video calls.

There's no shortage of video-calling services these days, and that means companies like Skype need to be creative in order to stay competitive. For instance, Skype's number one rival, Google Hangouts, lets up to 10 users video call each other at no cost. It's a compelling feature that has made Skype look expensive and sup-bar in recent months. Hence why Skype has finally made group video calls free for "modern Windows".

Previously, you could always use Skype to place video chats with 10 or fewer friends, but you first had to buy a premium subscription package. Starting today though, Skype has announced that you no longer have to become a premium user to place video calls with a bunch of friends or loved ones. Group video calls through Skype have been free for Windows and Mac desktops and the Xbox One since last spring.

"We’ve found that most group calls take place between three or four participants. When building the group video calling experience for modern Windows, we optimized so that the three most talkative people – plus yourself – are visible at the same time," explained Microsoft in a blog post on Tuesday. "However, you can be on a call with up to 10 people: their videos will show up once they start speaking."

READ: Group video calling made free for Skype on desktop and Xbox One

Among other things, Skype also revealed you could now double tap on people who aren't talking during a group video call to see their video feed in full-screen. For more information on how free video calls work with Windows tablets, which includes features like how to re-size Skype on a tablet for multitasking, watch the tutorial video above or check out Microsoft's blog.

Keep in mind that Windows tablets and Windows 2-in-1 devices must run Windows 8.1 to support group video calls at no cost.



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