Microsoft begins roll-out of Skype Group Video Calling

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Microsoft has announced that the company has started rolling out group video calling on iPhone, iPad and Android phones and tablets in Western Europe and North America.

The company expect to complete the roll-out to these markets over the next week or so and plan to be fully available worldwide in March.

“At Skype we believe that video is essential to maintaining personal connections with the people who matter most. To see someone’s face, to view a reaction and to experience that closeness with people you love — these are the things that inspired and motivated us to deliver a first-rate group video calling experience on mobile and tablet.”

Last month,  as part of Skype’s ten year birthday celebrations, Microsoft opened up pre-registration to test the feature with tens of thousands signing up.

Group video calls are in glorious HD quality and optimized specifically for the device you’re using, giving a more natural feel to the call. The person talking is displayed front and center and video is immersive and full screen. Audio is also crystal clear, thanks to the SILK Super Wide Band audio codec

To achieve this, Microsoft worked with Intel to enable SILK Audiooptimization specifically for Azure running on Intel processors.

“We’ve built an experience optimized for mobile and tablet screens. You can flip between a highly immersive grid view that makes you feel like you’re in the same room, or you can switch to focus view where Skype automatically focuses on the active speaker, or lets you choose which participant to ‘Pin’ to the stage. The latter view works particularly well when you have a large group on the call.”

Group Video Calling will be completely free and users simply need to have the latest version of Skype installed and you should be good to go when the roll out hits your devices.

Microsoft has also increased the number of people who can be part of a single video call from 5 up to 25.

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