Microsoft is celebrating the 10th anniversary of free video calling, a Skype innovation, by evoking NASA’s Stardust mission that gave us actual interstellar dust gathered from a comet (which is amazing) and reminding us of other Skype accomplishments. For example, did you know that Skype was the first to offer one-to-one video calling on mobile phones? Exciting stuff.
Today, Microsoft is also announcing the next evolution in Skyping, free group video calling on Android, iPhone, iPad, and Windows 10 Mobile. This is exciting stuff, folks–the ability to create and participate in group calls across all three major smartphone platforms is another major step in Microsoft’s cross-platform strategy.
Here’s Microsoft intro video, which explains all of the details:
Microsoft provides some additional statistics that help illustrate Skype’s impact over the years:
Please join us as we celebrate ten years of Skype video calling! You are the reason Skype is the video calling app of choice for consumers around the world. You encouraged your friends, family and colleagues to give Skype a try and have changed the way you communicate, generating nearly 2 trillion minutes of free Skype video calls over the last decade, from every corner of the earth.
Two trillion video minutes sounds like a lot – and it is. In fact, with that amount of time, you can use Skype to read to every child in the world for 10 hours, every family can be together over Skype for more than 7 hours and there’s still time left for the entire world’s workforce to have an hour-long interview via Skype.
It’s hard to imagine that back in 2006, Skype was a PC-only phenomenon. It’s true, however, and since then Skype has been installed by over 750 million on all sorts of devices–from Windows Phone to Android to iOS devices. More people who will soon be able to enjoy group video conferencing on their smartphones and tablets. We should stress: it’s also going to be a free service.
You can get a sneak peek at the new feature by going to skype.com/10years. Clearly, Microsoft remains serious about supporting all of the major platforms, which in the long run will keep Microsoft’s products and services front-and-center while the company continues its efforts to grow Windows 10 Mobile into a viable platform.