Over the course of the pandemic, video calling has been our most helpful method. We use video calling solutions every day to sustain the flow of work or even our sanity, from company and schools to choir groups and virtual hangouts. Microsoft Edge, which is already one of the world’s most widely used browsers, recognizes the need to be linked, especially during such difficult times, and is not afraid to step out of its comfort zone and do something fresh.
Microsoft has therefore introduced the option to place a video call directly from the home screen itself, fulfilling its promise of making Edge one of the most intuitive browsers around. Now, let’s see how to have a quick video chat right from the browser itself with that little intro out of the way.
Can you make video calls from the stable version of Microsoft Edge?
It’s important to learn more about availability before seeing the feature in all its glory. From now on, the option to make video calls from the home screen is only available in Edge Dev and Canary preview builds, and not in stable builds. In addition, any Edge Canary user will not be able to get their hands on the feature, as the privilege is reserved only for a selected few by Microsoft.
You could download the Edge Canary build and check out its ‘New Tab’ page if you’re feeling lucky. Otherwise, just wait for Microsoft to roll it out to the general public.
How does video calling work?
It’s operated by Skype because it’s Microsoft’s in-house video calling solution. So, the moment you hit the home page button, you are taken to Skype to complete the rest of the process. What’s interesting is that Microsoft promises that to make use of the function, users won’t need to sign up separately. So, even though you are an avid user of Skype, you can get into the action right away.
How to place a video call through Edge
Now that you know a little bit about availability and the mechanism behind it for video calling, let’s see how to actually place a video call through the browser. Second, double-click to open one of the supported Edge Preview Builds. Now, unless a new default home page is set, you will be redirected to a new tab page. You’ll see a new button in the middle of the page, just below the search bar,’ Meet Now.’ Click on it and you’d be taken to Skype’s dial-in page.
Here, you could either add more participants using the invite link or even start the meeting right away. To start a meeting immediately, click on ‘Start Meeting.’
Can you hide the ‘Meet Now’ button?
Although for video chatting enthusiasts, the dedicated ‘Meet Now’ button will definitely come in handy, it might not satisfy the minimalists in the same way.
The feature is yet to come to the stable build, as we have described, and is currently being ironed out in the pre-release editions. In its present shape, with a flip of a toggle, the ‘Meet Now’ button can not be tucked away and is set to live on your home screen. However, we might get an option to hide it from the ‘New Tab’ page in the final construction.
Is it possible to change the video calling client?
In one way or another, most of us have used video calling platforms. Some of us like Google Duo’s convenience, while a few others like the customizability that Zoom provides. In several cases, in terms of video chatting, there is no “one size fits all” solution, but Microsoft seems to have multiple beliefs.
Skype has been assigned by the Windows Edge developers as the only client to benefit from the video calling prowess of the browser. There is no choice at this point to move the base from Skype to something else, and, we suppose, it’s likely to remain that way. So, if you don’t feel comfortable putting your video calls using Skype, it’s probably best not to get excited about this subtle Edge inclusion.