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Microsoft launches Skype for Business Mac Public Preview

Microsoft launches Skype for Business Mac Public Preview

General availability targeted for third quarter 2016

"Mobile First. Cloud First." is Microsoft's multi-platform mantra that puts services and availability over pushing their own platform, and their latest news shores that up even beyond competitors' mobile devices: Skype for Business, Microsoft's increasingly powerful communications suite, is coming to the Mac in Q3 2016.

A preview of the app, which the company said was built with the intention of making Mac OS X a "first class citizen" when it comes to Skype for Business, is out now, with invitations granted to those IT professionals that register on the Skype Preview website.

This is the first of free previews, which will roll out to more IT departments with more functionality over time.

The first round includes displaying upcoming meetings, as well as gives users the ability to join them with one click.

The second release, slated for this summer, will offer instant messaging, presence and contacts.

The third and final release will add telephony features.

Microsoft has a video demoing the software, and it looks very nice (what doesn't in a demo?), with an easy interface, use of Mac OS X's native APIs, and a distinct lack of clutter throughout. We'll see if that survives all three rounds of feature additions, but it's nice to see that attention to detail paid at this early stage:

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