"Discuss Now" in Windows 10: What does the new icon mean?

"Discuss Now" in Windows 10: What does the new icon mean?

Somewhat surprisingly, Microsoft has been rolling out the new "Discuss now" feature for Windows 10 since November 2020. Only a small icon in the system tray indicates this. But what is actually behind it?

If you have recently updated Windows 10 on your computer, you may have noticed a new icon in the lower right corner of the taskbar. It looks like a small camera and is called "Discuss Now".

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The new icon stands for "Discuss Now". Image: © Microsoft / Screenshot: 2020

What is "Discuss Now"?

"Discuss Now" is a new tool that allows you to quickly start or participate in a video conference from your desktop at any time. With the introduction of the feature, Microsoft is responding to the increased demand for corresponding solutions in the wake of the corona pandemic and the fact that more and more people are working, learning and simply communicating from home.

Basically, "Discuss Now" uses the software foundation of Skype. However, you don't have to log in with a Skype account to use it, you can get started right away. In fact, Skype doesn't even have to be installed on the PC. In this case, a video chat window simply opens in the web browser.

How does "Discuss Now" work?

To start a video chat using the tool, simply click on the icon in the system tray at the bottom right and then on "Create a meeting". Now a window opens in Skype or in the web browser in which you enter a name and where you will find a link that you can share with the person you want to talk to.

Discuss now

"Discuss Now" provides a simple interface for video chats. Image: © Microsoft / Screenshot: 2020

You can even insert an artificial background or, if you wish, deactivate the webcam entirely and start a pure voice chat. By clicking on the "Start meeting" button you start the chat and others can now join it via the shared link.

In the chat itself you will find the same functions that are otherwise also available in Skype. So there is a window for text chats to share links, the option to use the "Raise your hand" button to draw attention to yourself in large discussions or the option to share your own screen.

Deactivate "Discuss now"

If the icon annoys or irritates you for any reason, you can also banish it from the system tray.

  1. Open " Settings -> Personalization -> Taskbar "
  2. Click on "Enable or disable system icons "
  3. Now deactivate the slider behind "Discuss now"
Taskbar settings

In the settings you can deactivate "Discuss now" if you wish. Image: © Microsoft / Screenshot: 2020

Summary

"Now Discuss" is a new tool for starting video chats quickly and easily under Windows 10. It uses the software infrastructure of Skype, but neither requires a Skype account nor the Skype app on the PC. The functions that are available are identical to those of Skype.

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