Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) has recently announced some new features for its ‘Hangouts’ app and its Chromebox device, which might put it in a better competitive position against Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)‘s Skype. The features mostly focus on the video chat for ‘Hangouts’ and, according to Google’s blog post, will help businesses to conduct video meetings easier. These updates represent a big improvement for Google Apps for Business customers.
One of the main new features of ‘Hangouts,’ and this is what will make the difference in competition against Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s Skype application is the fact that ‘Hangouts’ video meetings will be able to run on any Google Apps account, which will make the program available even for people who don’t have a Google+ profile. Taking into account that there are more people using Google Apps than those using Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL)’s Google+ social media platform, this innovation was definitely the right call.
“Any Google Apps customer can start or join a high-definition video meeting that connects 15 participants—from a computer or Chromebox for meetings device and coming soon to mobile phone and tablet,” Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) said in its blog post.
In addition, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) announced that it has partnered with some other providers to enhance the user base of the ‘Hangouts’ videoconferencing. Blue Jeans and InterCall’s videoconferencing services will be compatible with ‘Hangouts’ and will allow people to join video meetings. Moreover, one of the new features involves a phone dialing support, probably similar to Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s Skype, which will help to better integrate ‘Hangouts’ since people will be able to dial from their Chromebox to telephones.
In the nearest future, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) plans to add some more features to Chromebox, which will help in conducting business meetings in rooms with different sizes and shapes. For example, one Chromebox will be able to connect to two displays, which will improve the quality of video conferences in larger rooms.
However, we should point out that Chromebox, according to Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL)’s official website, costs $999, versus the free accessibility of Skype. However, this product might fulfill the expectations of business customers by improving the quality of video meetings, which, again, might give Google a competitive advantage over Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT).