Skype For Business Mac Preview Gets Group Calls And IM

Second edition of Skype for Business Mac preview comes out ahead of Q3 launch

Microsoft has added a number of new features to the preview edition of Skype for Business on Mac, including instant messaging and group video calling.

The latest update includes contacts and presence so you can see if a person is online, offline or at a meeting and easily start a text conversation. Also on board is peer to peer (P2P) VoIP calls and conversation history.

The Mac preview edition launched in April and now has 22,000 participants from 7,000 organisation. Microsoft says it is at “capacity” and won’t accept any new sign-ups until the commercial edition is launched later this year.

Skype for Business Mac

Skype for Business Mac 2“We expect to release the third phase of preview functionality in the summer, including voice features like the ability to dial out to a traditional phone number,” said Microsoft’s Paul Cannon.

“And we are still targeting to make the Skype for Business Mac client generally available this fall. In between these moments, we will release minor updates to resolve any issues and address your feedback.”

Skype for Business is the enterprise version of the popular VoIP app and started rolling out to Office 365 subscribers last year. It replaces Microsoft’s previous unified communications product Lync and the Windows version has offers the same icons, layouts and contact lists as its consumer counterpart to help users feel more familiar with the platform,

Microsoft acquired Skype for $8.5 billion (£5.1 billion) in 2011 and has worked to integrate Voice over-IP (VoIP) and video communications features into a number of its products. Skype ultimately replaced  MSN Messenger in April 2013.

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