Gurdeep Singh Pall, corporate vice president for Skype, took the stage in front of several hundred attendees at Ignite to share a bevy of updates like a new Skype for Business for Mac and iPhone, real-time transcription and translation in Skype Meeting Broadcast, a new generation of Skype Room Systems, and geographic expansion of PSTN Conferencing.
Pall also shared some updated stats for Skype, which Microsoft acquired for $8.5 billion in 2011. Skype has more than 1.1 billion downloads on iTunes and Google Play; there are 3 billion minutes of calling on Skype around the world on an average day; and there have been 3 trillion minutes of video calling on Skype.
“Wherever you go in the world, people will tell you a story about Skype,” Pall said.
When announcing the new Skype for Business for Mac, available in October, Pall shared this slide:
“You expect us to only innovate on Microsoft experiences, but no,” Pall said. “This happens to be coming on the Mac first.”
It was similar to a graphic Microsoft shared earlier in the day after announcing its new cloud partnership with Adobe.
However, Pall did not say anything about a rumored competitor to Slack, the popular workplace collaboration tool that has become the standard office chatting tool. Earlier this month, MSPoweruser reported that Microsoft is building a product similar to Slack called Skype Teams.
In March, rumors surfaced that Microsoft was interested in purchasing Slack for up to $8 billion before co-founder Bill Gates and CEO Satya Nadella put the kibosh on the idea. Instead, they suggested improving Skype, according to TechCrunch.
Nadella will take the stage later today at Ignite for a keynote address, and we’ll update this story if the CEO makes any mention of Skype Teams.
In August, Microsoft confirmed it was testing another chat app called Project Sonoma. That tool is designed for “deskless workers” to manage their schedules, communicate with teammates, and switch shifts.