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Skype finally brings free group chats to Windows tablets and 2-in-1 devices

Skype has made group video calling free for all Windows tablet and 2-in-1 users to enable owners of Microsoft touch screen devices to speak with up to 10 people at a time.

Related: The rise of WhatsApp and Skype: How mobile operators can turn threat into opportunity

The move come after Skype made group video calling free to all existing platforms back in April and it has made a smattering of changes to the service to reflect the most active participants in the conversations.

This in mind the new Skype group video experience on Windows sees the three most talkative people, plus the device owner, on the screen at the same time and the remaining participants will show up when they speak.

If for some reason there’s only one person in the room that you want to see or the person isn’t currently talking simply double tap on them and the individual will go full screen with the gallery of all participants accessed by double tapping once more.

Windows tablet or hybrid device owners that get bored in the middle of a call or want to multitask can open up a video, browse the web or check emails by resizing Skype so that it takes up only a small part of the screen.

Group calling on Skype was originally only available to Premium subscribers until the Microsoft-owned company announced at the end of April that Windows, Mac and Xbox One users would be able to use the service free-of-charge.

That move was widely rumoured to have been motivated by Google promoting group chats in its Hangouts app with the two going head-to-head across a wide range of platforms.

Related: Why Microsoft should dump Skype, and roll its user base into Lync

Microsoft closed a deal to buy Skype back in October 2011 for $8.5 million [£5 million] and it has been gradually integrating it into its line-up ever since.