Skype for Business Client Preview Available Now

Skype for Business Client Preview Available Now

At Convergence 2015 today, Satya Nadella helped kick off a round of upcoming updates to the company's next evolution in productivity software. Richard covered the announcement for the IT Pro and Developer Preview of Office 2016 HERE, but as I stated last week, Microsoft is also beginning a new chapter for its business communications medium.

Microsoft announced in November 2014 that it was planning to eliminate its popular Lync software and replace it with a business version of Skype. Skype for Business brings the look-and-feel and ease-of-use available in Skype but integrates enterprise-grade security, compliance, and management. The Lync infrastructure won't change much and really this more of a rebranding than a full replacement – at least at first.

The Technical Preview for Skype for Business will become available in the coming weeks (possibly in April) for those companies already using Lync. The Technical Preview will come with a new client, a new server and updated services and run as part of Office 365. Microsoft still plans to make the change final during the first half of 2015 and the new software will be multi-platform and work on smartphones, tablets, and desktops.

Today, a Skype for Business Client Preview is available, allowing those already using the Lync 2013 client to get up to speed on the new interface. Some new features include:

  • New look and feel

  • Call via Work

  • Skype directory integration

  • Dual user experience

  • Call Monitor

  • Rate My Call

  • Quick access to call controls

  • Emoticons

  • Call via Work

  • Skype directory integration

  • Dual user experience

You can grab the evaluation from here: Skype for Business Client Preview (US)

A general FAQ page is setup to answer common question about the Client Preview here: Frequently Asked Questions Technical Preview for Skype for Business Client

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