Microsoft is creating a unique version of Skype for small business owners and freelancers. This is particularly useful for freelancers that might use Skype to provide tutorials, training, or consulting.
“Skype Professional Account gives you the power to do all that from one app for free during the preview. From French tutors to yoga instructors, you’ll be able to book lessons, accept payments, and give lessons all from one place, seamlessly. Plus, we’ve added an enhanced profile page to help improve your online presence and a dedicated website for your small business right in Skype. Your contacts will be able to see pertinent info about your hours and business offerings.” – Skype Blog
The new Skype version will let small business owners and freelancers book meetings and accept payments all within the same tool, instead of third-party alternatives. It’s not clear if Microsoft intends to run this as a free service once the preview is finished, but testers can sign-up to try it out over at Microsoft’s Skype homepage.
All the features work together. For example, a payment request can be sent along with a booking. You’ll also be able to see all your notes without leaving the app. In addition, you’ll be able to easily port your contacts over to the Skype Professional Account Preview desktop client while your customers and clients continue to use their familiar Skype app to work with you.
As for your customers, in addition to searching for friends and groups they want on Skype, they’ll be able to find businesses as well. That means they can now look for the kind of professional they want to work with.