Skype conferencing: no download, no account required

Skype[German]Microsoft has – probably in view of the Corona crisis, all barriers to Skype conferences have been removed. You can start a 'free meeting' in your browser, in which anybody can participate.


The offer can be found on the Easy video meetings with no sign ups or downloads. I became aware of the new feature through this US article. It is enough to call up this page in your browser to start.  

Skype Free Video Meetings

With the link Create a free meeting you can then generate a one-time link. For this purpose Microsoft says:

Generate your free unique link with one click, share it with participants and enjoy unlimited meetings with Skype. Full set of features at your disposal. Your meeting link does not expire and can be used anytime.

The sentence 'Your meeting link does not expire and can be used anytime.' seems not to be true. If you create a free conference and an attendee joins with a guest account, there will be a notification, that the link will expire within 24 hours. Below is a German invitation page showing that message.

Join Skype


This link can then be sent by e-mail (or other media) to the conference participants. The whole offer is, since it is handled by Skype-to-Skype, free for the participants. All you need is a browser and internet access and the link. There is no need to download and install a Skype client on the device. You also no longer need to register for a Skype (or Microsoft) account.

The offer is probably due to the Corona crisis – and Microsoft may also be trying to counteract against Zoom. But of course you won't be able to access your Skype address book.

And if you life in Europe and if you are using this for business purposes, you will be bound by General Data Protection Rules (GDPR). From what I read from my German data protection watchdog, it's not a good idea to use this mechanism – especially, due to the fact, that Microsoft archives the call records for up to 30 days. The shared media remain available even longer. Microsoft writes about this: The perfect solution for conference calls, webinars or job interviews! But that's a no go under GDPR law – imho.

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