Microsoft releases Skype for Business technical preview
Back in December, Microsoft demoed how it was unifying Lync – it’s old business-centric video chat app – and Skype into a singular Skype for Business product, with the promise of giving organizations reach to Skype users outside of their business’ walls.
Now it’s offering up a technical preview, which it announced at itsConvergence conference today. Lync customers can trial it to get ready for the full transition to Skype.Skype for business is obviously based on Skype’s design, but pulls in many of Lync’s features, such as online meetings, enterprise-grade security and compliance and control tools for IT departments. It also connects Lync customers with any Skype user, regardless of whether or not they are part of their organization.
The new app also offers some additional flexibility for businesses with integration directly into Office, allowing users to connect via Skype right from Outlook, for instance.Microsoft first announced it was integrating Lync into Skype in February of 2013. It’s been a long time coming, but Skype for business is the final step in that transition.
The company says businesses set up for Lync 2013 should also be qualified for Skype for Business. If your company is interested, you can check out the demo at Microsoft’s TechNet Evaluation Center.