Windows 10 taskbar to get launch button for new Skype feature for creating instant online meetings, amidst pandemic videoconferencing surge
Microsoft is introducing a Skype online meeting feature directly into the Windows 10 taskbar, as it seeks to capitalise on the massive pandemic-era boom in videoconferencing.
The company introduced the Meet Now feature into Skype earlier this year, allowing users to set up and share an online videoconference in as little as three clicks, with no software installation or account creation needed.
The feature is similar to the streamlined set-up process that has made Zoom a popular choice for online meetings, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Calls are free and can last up to 24 hours, making them competitive with Zoom’s free calls, which have a 40-minute limit.
Microsoft has now said it plans to introduce a button for the Meet Now feature directly into the Windows 10 taskbar.
The feature is available to testers in Windows 10 20H2 Build 19042.608 (KB4580364), newly released to the Release Preview channel and the Beta channel.
Microsoft said the feature was planned to reach the public “in the coming weeks”.
“In the coming weeks you will be able to easily set up a video call and reach friends and family in an instant by clicking the Meet Now icon in the taskbar notification area. No sign-ups or downloads needed,” Microsoft said in a blog post.
The 20H2 preview also includes a long list of fixes, including one for an issue with using Group Policy Preferences to configure the homepage in Internet Explorer and another giving administrators the ability to use a Group Policy to enable Save Target As for users in Microsoft Edge IE Mode.
Other fixes deal with untrusted URL navigations in Internet Explorer 11, the use of Microsoft Edge for remote Windows 10 debugging, Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) sessions, Windows Virtual Desktop and other issues.
Microsoft also fixed an issue preventing Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 from launching on ARM64 devices, a bug that affects systems that have installed the KB4579311 update to Windows 10, released on 13 October.