Microsoft Starts Rolling Out Skype for Business To Replace Lync
Microsoft is taking the first step in delivering a full-featured hosted UC service as it releases the new Skype for Business client today. Announcing details of the roll out, the company wrote on its Office Blog:
A few weeks ago, we announced the technical preview of the Skype for Business client, and today, we’re thrilled to announce that the new Skype for Business client is now rolling out as part of the April monthly update for Office 2013!
The software giant said the Skype for Business Online is also being rolled out to Office 365 customers worldwide, and the roll out is expected to be complete by the end of May.
Customers currently using Lync Online in Office 365 will see the new Skype for Business user experience in the coming weeks. For those who need a little more time to prepare for Skype for Business, the company has provided the ability for administrators to switch between Skype for Business and the traditional Lync user interface.
Based on the familiar Skype experience and built right into the Office, Skype for Business is integrated with a number of features that make it simple and easy to find and connect with “anyone in the Skype network–inside or outside your organization.”
With the consistent contacts list, presence indicators, buttons, icons and app sounds, the fresh new interface makes it look and feel more like the consumer version of Skype.
If you’re coming to Skype for Business from Lync, you will recognize a few of the Lync-specific features, like the Quick Actions button, allowing users to IM or call a contact with a single click, with some great new additions to the UI including:
- Call via Work
- Skype directory integration
- Dual user experience
- Call Monitor
- Rate My Call
- Quick access to call controls
Microsoft officials said to expect general availability of the new Skype for Business Server 2015 to happen starting May 1.