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    Microsoft Launches Skype Lite, Contests Google for India's Slow-Paced Internet

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    Google and Microsoft are competing with each other to grab more consumers and startups in India. The cloud service market in India is worth close to $2 billion on its own.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) In a bid to expand its outreach among consumers having slow internet connectivity, Microsoft has announced a Made in India version of Skype app in Mumbai on Wednesday. The 'Made for India' app will enable Android phone users to make calls and exchange instant chat messages with other Skype users, free of cost. The company has also offered voice call connectivity to landline or mobile phones from Skype Lite for a charge. Skype Lite is a 13 MB app that works on slower networks and low end phones as well. Skype Lite will be marketed as a single-app for all sorts of communication i.e. “messaging, calling, and sharing.”

    But, most the important announcement related to the app was it's Aadhar authentication facility which allows callers to request verification from other people. Aadhaar is a 12 digit unique-identity number issued to an Indian resident based on their biometric and demographic data. The company assured that Skype Lite will delete all the data saved in the world’s largest biometric system Aadhar once call has been disconnected. Microsoft says that this unique verification method will be very useful in online job interviews where job seekers or job providers may find it necessary to have some sort of verification method.

    “Your next Skype Job interview might need Aadhaar verification. You can soon enter your Aadhaar number over Skype to verify yourself for an interview. The service can be extended for government services as well,” said Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO at company’s Future Decoded event.

    The app is developed at Microsoft's development centre in Hyderabad and will support seven Indian languages including Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu. Skype Lite also provides users to control over the data usage with a tool that will track and manage data used on WiFi and data network. Much like Google assistant, Microsoft has also introduced bots to the messaging app and added automated services such as MSN News. The bots are able to predict what it is that users are likely to type and fetch information for users.

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