Amazon Chime

Amazon Web Services has launched Chime, a cloud-based video conferencing service aimed at businesses. Available on Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac, Chime allows users to quickly set up meetings, offering VoIP and video calling, instant messaging, and screen sharing. The feature-set is similar to that of Hangouts, and Amazon is also targeting Skype for Business — which runs on Microsoft's own cloud-based Azure ecosystem — with its video conferencing software.

Chime's base version — called the Basic Edition — lets two users communicate via chat, call, or video for free.The Plus Edition comes with Active Directory management, 1GB of messaging space per user, and the ability to add an entire e-mail domain for $2.50 per user per month. The Pro Edition introduces video calling and screen sharing as well as unlimited VoIP calling, and costs $15 per user per month.

Amazon has partnered with Level 3 to bundle Chime into the Tier 1 telecommunications service provider's collaboration solutions. Internet telephony provider Vonage will also start offering Chime's Pro Edition to its business customers at no additional cost. Integration with Level 3 and Vonage will kick off in the second quarter of 2017.

Amazon is also offering a 30-day trial that lets you try out Chime Pro without having to add a credit card. After 30 days, you'll be switched to the basic tier, or you can continue to use the Pro Edition features by paying for a subscription.