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Amazon Launches Chime To Compete With Microsoft, Cisco

With the launch of Chime, a calling and video messaging software available as a web application, Amazon is now in direct competition with Microsoft’s Skype for Business and Cisco’s WebEx.

The Seattle-based company is making the software available through Amazon Web Services, which started out as a builder of on-demand web developer tools but has grown in recent years to include email, word processing, collaboration and other business-focused services.

Chime, available as a free download for iOS, Android, macOS and Windows, allows customers to start high-quality video and audio meetings with one click. According to a press release, users can host or join a meeting, chat and share content and screens with a seamless, synchronized experience across multiple devices. And Chime uses noise-canceling wideband audio to deliver high-quality audio and clear HD video to make it easier to have real conversations in a meeting.

“It’s pretty hard to find people who actually like the technology they use for meetings today. Most meeting applications or services are hard to use, deliver bad audio and video, require constant switching between multiple tools to do everything they want and are way too expensive,” said Gene Farrell, vice president of enterprise applications at AWS. “Amazon Chime delivers frustration-free meetings, allowing users to be productive from anywhere. And with no ongoing maintenance or management fees, Amazon Chime is a great choice for companies that are looking for a solution to meetings that their employees will love to use.”

The Verge reported that customers will have three price tiers to choose from. There is a basic, free version if all they want to do is hold a video call and chat with up to two people. For a larger meeting, including screen sharing, there is a monthly per user fee starting at $2.50; while, for meetings of up to 100 participants, companies will pay $15 per user per month. It also includes features like Active Directory integration, custom URLs and the ability to join meetings from a regular phone line.

Businesses can sign up for a 30-day trial to see if the service is right for them. Brooks Brothers, Level 3 and Vonage are among the early Chime users and partners.

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