Microsoft integrates Skype with Slack to simplify team video calls

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em

Slack may be the darling of the group communication market right now, but there's one thing it's missing: voice and video calling. Microsoft is aiming to patch that up with a new integration between Skype and the popular messaging service.

The imaginatively-named Skype integration for Slack creates a new command that lets people type "/skype" into a channel or private chat and have Microsoft's conferencing service automatically generate a link that will launch a call for participants in the conversation. Everyone in the channel will get a notification letting them know that there's a call going on.

Links generated with the integration can be launched with the Skype mobile and desktop apps, or opened on the desktop web with or without a Skype account. It's currently available in beta for any team that has an open integration slot in their Slack instance.

What's interesting about this move is that Microsoft already has a workplace communication product designed to get teams working together called Skype for Business (previously known as Lync). But Slack is a rising star in the workplace collaboration market, so it makes sense for Microsoft to try and link its products to a market leader in order to maintain their relevance.

It will be interesting to see what happens to the integration in the future. Last year, Slack acquired Screenhero to help the company build out future voice and video chat features for its product, though they haven't materialized yet.

The launch comes during a big week for Skype overall. On Monday, Microsoft announced free video conferencing for users of all of its mobile apps, to go along with the same capability on desktop. On Wednesday, an update to Outlook allowed users to create video conference links inside calendar events with a tap, and this integration adds another way for people to easily summon Skype.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Microsoft

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Blair Hanley Frank

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?