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Microsoft aims to make group chatting easier with Skype

Microsoft is starting to roll out a new Skype chat feature to Skype for Windows, Mac and Web users that will make easier inviting others, including non-Skype users, into group chats.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Microsoft is starting to roll out a new feature in Skype that aims to make inviting and participating in group chats easier.

Skype for Windows, Skype for Mac or Skype for Web users can generate a unique URL and send it to others, enabling them to join a group and start chatting. The recipients don't have to be Skype users; they can receive the URL via email, Messenger, WhatsApp, Twitter and/or other channels.

The rollout is beginning first with users in the U.S. and U.K. Microsoft plans to extend availability to the rest of the world "in a few weeks," a spokesperson said. The new chat-invitation feature enables group instant-messaging chats, voice chats and/or video chats.

To invite users to a chat, Skype users click "+New" in the latest version of Skype for Windows, Skype for Mac or Skype for Web to generate and share a unique link. Those invited click on the link and are automatically joined into the group conversation.

In other Skype-related news, Microsoft has made two of its coming three new Universal Skype apps available to Windows 10 users who are not running Insider Preview builds of Windows 10. Those running Windows 10 RTM (Build 10204) can now download the new, free Microsoft Messaging and Skype Video apps from the Windows Store.

The coming Universal Phone app is not yet available to Windows 10 RTM users.

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