Thanks to a partnership announced Tuesday with Citrix Online, Skype users will get web conferencing functionality later this year. By making use of Citrix’s popular GoToMeeting conferencing product, Skype users will be able to easily quickly set up online meetings with an audio conferencing bridge that enables users to join via Skype or through public switched telephone network (PSTN) phone numbers. Web conferences will make use of Skype’s SILK codec for high-quality audio, and will also enable annotated screensharing.
Voice and video chat provider Skype is hoping that by making hosting of meetings and web conferences a seamless experience, its product will become more appealing for business users. Presumably, users will be able to pay for GoToMeeting access with their Skype credit and sign into GoToMeeting using their Skype credentials, or perhaps it will be added to a premium business subscription plan (GoToMeeting currently costs $49 per month). But don’t get too excited about this integration just yet; it’s not expected to actually become available until the fourth quarter of this year.
This may not be the first partnership like this that Skype announces in the coming months. While its userbase is still growing, Skype is coming under increasing competitive pressure from the likes of Google and Apple; gaining a larger foothold in a relatively untapped business market while its competitors continue go after the consumer market may be a smart move.
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