Microsoft Adds Content Creators Mode to Skype to Enhance Collaboration

The new mode will allow Skype users simplify their video workflows without investing in specialized equipment.

Microsoft Skype

This summer, Microsoft's Skype for Windows 10 and Mac desktops will gain a new mode that will enable users to work collaboratively on livestreams, podcasts and other video content.

Dubbed Skype for Content Creators and currently in beta, the new mode dispenses with the need for additional equipment to record multiuser video calls and streams. The application will also allow users to place and record calls using NewTek NDI-compatible solutions like Vmix, Wirecast and Xsplit.

NewTek NDI, short for Network Device Interface, is software from video production technology provider NewTek that allows broadcasters and video production firms to create IP-based workflows where video content is transferred and processed over conventional networks. The Skype-NewTek NDI integration will help streamline the process of creating collaborative video content using Skype, claims Microsoft.

With the updated Skype apps, users will be able to launch a livestream in as little as two steps. The updated Skype application also simplifies the process of importing recorded calls to Adobe Premier Pro, Adobe Audition Adobe Premier Pro, Adobe Audition and other video software suites for additional processing.

Microsoft is currently showing off the new Skype for Content Creators mode at the National Association of Broadcasters' NAB Show in Las Vegas, April 9 -12.

Meanwhile, Microsoft has also been working on other ways to make Skype a little more useful for job seekers by adding a new shared whiteboard feature to Skype Interviews.

Serving as an alternative to in-person job interviews, the browser-based tool allows recruiters and employers to participate video-based interviews, complete with a built-in code editor that can be used for coding challenges. In December, Microsoft added a scheduling component that automatically organizes interview times and helps recruiters manage upcoming sessions.

Now, Skype Interviews allows users to illustrate concepts, workflows and complex scenarios that may come up during an interview with a digital whiteboard and editor. Candidates can use pencil and shape (rectangles, circles and lines) tools to turn ideas into shareable Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) files.

Microsoft is also working to improving Skype's accessibility features, particularly on the Windows, Mac and iOS versions of the app. "Although there are still more fixes and improvements to come, the Skype team has been focusing on the following areas: improving visible keyboard focus, eliminating cases where keyboard focus moves to non-actionable controls, ensuring keyboard focus moves back to the controls that opened a dialog or menu after the dialog or menu was closed, improving the accessible names and labels of controls, and improving the control types used," teased the company in a March 16 blog.

Finally, Microsoft wants to assure users they don't have to upgrade to the latest-and-greatest Android devices to continue to enjoy good performance on the Skype app.

In March, the software maker began rolling out an optimized version of the app that uses less memory and storage space on devices running Android 4.0.3 "Ice Cream Sandwich" to 5.1 "Lollipop" on their devices. Android 4.0.3 and 5.1 were released in December 2011 and March 2015, respectively.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...