Microsoft pushes Skype against Zoom and gets serious: Meet Now arrives for everyone, integrated in the Start menu bar, and you don't even need a Skype account to use it
Windows 10 updates now follow each other day after day and, just a few days after the second semi-annual 20H2 October Update, Microsoft has decided to release another one, optional: KB4580386, released mainly to fix some bugs but which also includes a not insignificant new feature: Meet Now in the Start menu bar.
Meet Now had already been spotted in a previous Windows 10 beta version, released only to Insiders program subscribers. Now not only those who are subscribed to the program can update the operating system to see a new icon appear on the Start menu bar, in the lower right corner. It is precisely the Meet Now icon, from which you can start a video call with anyone in a matter of seconds. The video call will take place via Microsoft's Skype platform, so you'll need to have the Skype app on your device to participate, although you won't need to have an account on the platform.
How Meet Now works
When the user clicks on the Meet Now icon, on the Windows 10 bar, a little window opens from which you can choose between "Create a meeting" and "Join a meeting". In the first case a link will be generated, to be shared with all those who we want to invite to the call. In the second case we'll have to insert this link, which has been sent to us by the person who launched the video call.
Those who don't have Skype on their PC will be invited to download it in order to participate, the same applies if you want to participate in the video call from an Android or iOS mobile device: we'll be sent to the Play Store or the App Store respectively to download the Skype app.
Meet Now: you need Skype, but not an account
The very interesting thing about Meet Now is that, despite being based on the Skype platform, you don't need to have a Skype account to use it: just download the app and enter the link to participate in video calls. Clearly, however, this is a strategic move by Microsoft that tries, in this way, to push Skype more and more.
Meet Now, on the other hand, is virtually identical to the monimous function offered by Zoom, another video conferencing platform that has literally exploded during the months of the lockdown. As health emergencies and contagious containment measures, particularly smartworking, continued, Microsoft went on the offensive.