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Amazon's Chime takes on Skype and WebEx for video conferencing

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Amazon has been successfully pushing into businesses for years with its cloud computing services, and now it’s looking at productivity apps as a new way to deepen its ties to businesses. Available as a free download for iOS, Android, macOS, and Windows, Amazon’s Chime is a video conferencing app for online meetings. It’s aimed squarely at Microsoft’s Skype for Business or Cisco’s WebEx service, and joins many startups like Zoom in an increasingly competitive market.

Amazon is tying Chime to its AWS offerings, but you’ll be able to use a basic free version if all you want to do is hold a video call and chat room with up to two people. Anything more, including screen sharing, will require a monthly per user fee starting at $2.50 and rising up to $15 per user per month for video meetings of up to 100 people and features like Active Directory integration, custom URLs, and the ability to join meetings from a regular phone line.

Amazon’s pricing means most businesses will need to opt for the $15 per user per month option to benefit from video calls of more than two people. That’s an aggressive price point for video calling if you’re a business that already relies on Microsoft Office with its bundled Skype for Business integration, or Cisco’s well respected WebEx service. Businesses will have 30 days to try the full pro service and decide whether it’s worth the price tag.