There was a time when Skype was big, and almost everyone flocked to it. But even before Microsoft acquired it, the chat service was rapidly being brought down by more popular competitions like Whats App. Skype was mostly used by home computer owners, and it was a popular option for people to stay in touch with friends and family, as well as with new friends they made online.

This has changed, and the majority of those using Skype are businesses. The one thing that makes it appealing is the free video conferencing provision. But Google’s Hangouts is offering the same thing, and this may spell disaster for the clunkier Skype.

Group support

Skype lets you add up to nine people at once while holding a video chat. This isn’t part of the free package however; in the SU, this costs a monthly 4.99 dollars for the subscription. For companies, this is still a bargain, because the calls offered are unlimited, and there’s also group screen sharing. Another thing is that this gives you access to Live Chat assistance, similar in many ways to Windows Live chat support.

Google’s Hangouts allow for the same number, but with the added benefit that it’s available for free. If you’re simply looking to converse with a large number of people, then there are Hangouts On Air, which can be streamed live on your YouTube channel or your blog.

Platform compatibility

Skype can be run on many devices that have XP or older OS, Mac OS X, or Ubuntu. It works with browsers like Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. Hangouts have pretty much the same compatibility range.

Calls

Skype lets you make free calls between clients, but calling a phone would require setting up a monthly subscription. This costs 2.99 dollars per month in the US and Canada, at a call rate of 2.3 cents per minute. The Unlimited World plan lets you make calls to 8 countries, to landline as well as mobile phones, at 13.99 dollars per month.

Google Hangouts lets you call other users free of charge, or make free calls inside the US and Canada using a Google Voice number. For landlines and mobiles, you’d be charged the local rates in the country you’re calling to.

Skype scores in regards to the Live Chat option, which is similar to the Windows Live chat support service. You may find more information on Skype call charges from the official website.

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