Skype For Business Apps Enter iOS, Android Preview - InformationWeek

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8/11/2015
04:05 PM
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Skype For Business Apps Enter iOS, Android Preview

Following the launch of Skype for Business on Windows Phone, Microsoft releases app previews for iOS and Android devices.

8 Microsoft Office Alternatives
8 Microsoft Office Alternatives
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

Since the start of this year, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has prioritized the development of its core offerings for competitor platforms.

The goal is to help Microsoft better compete in a modern "mobile-first, cloud-first" world by broadening its user base. Even if they don't want a new Surface, or prefer Mac OS to Windows 10, customers will still be using Redmond's software on their Apple and Android products.

We have seen Nadella's vision come to life with the development of Microsoft Office for iOS and Android phones, the launch of Office 2016 for Mac, and productivity apps for Apple Watch and Android Wear. Microsoft's Cortana has launched on Android. It is expected to arrive on iOS as well.

[In other iOS news: The iPhone 6s is expected Sept. 9.]

Now we're seeing the pattern continue with Microsoft's new Skype for Business platform. Over the last few months, the team has released the Skype for Business client for Windows, Skype for Business Online in Office 365, Skype for Business Server, and Skype for Business app on Windows Phone.

If you're not on Windows Phone and wanted to try Skype for Business on mobile, you can now do so. Microsoft today rolled out a preview version of the service on iOS and Android smartphones.

The Skype for Business preview delivers a simple dashboard interface, which directs you to an updated contact search bar for browsing your global address list for first names, last names, email addresses, or phone numbers. iOS users will find their phone contacts are included in the search capabilities.

The Skype dashboard also provides access to upcoming appointments, recent phone calls and chats, and a "Quick Join" icon to quickly jump into meetings. Microsoft also redesigned the In-Call and In-Meeting experiences for simpler navigation -- with larger buttons, full-screen video, and the option to view content and the speaker's video side-by-side.

(Image: Microsoft)

(Image: Microsoft)

Customers running Lync 2013 on iOS and Android will receive an updated Skype for Business app later this year. The mobile Skype for Business apps will run for all customers using Skype for Business Server 2015, Skype for Business Online, or Lync Server 2013.

Microsoft is allowing IT admins to nominate up to eight participants (four on iOS, four on Android) within their organizations to participate in the preview. You have until this Friday, Aug. 14, to apply for acceptance in its first batch of testers.

Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... View Full Bio

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nomii
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nomii,
User Rank: Ninja
9/10/2015 | 11:00:02 AM
Re: Skype

@Shamika I believe that to improve the customer satisfaction as well as getting more admittance from the users, they continually need to improve and innovate. I believe that getting stagnant will only make others to take their place. Stopping at provision of group calls and chat will not suffice. Thet constantly need to come up wth new ideas. What do you say?

shamika
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shamika,
User Rank: Ninja
8/28/2015 | 5:53:52 AM
Re: Skype
@nomii. I agree. They have not gone to that extent. However it provides the ability to make group calls and chats. Do you think this need to be enhanced further?
danielcawrey
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danielcawrey,
User Rank: Ninja
8/12/2015 | 1:12:08 PM
Re: Skype
Are people still using Skype that much? I think it's interesting all of this enterprise development from Microsoft in Skype, but the general sense I have had is that people are using it less and less. 

Everything is increasingly moving to mobile, and maybe Skype has a chance there. All I can say is that the Android version I use leaves a lot to be desired.
nomii
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nomii,
User Rank: Ninja
8/12/2015 | 9:21:35 AM
Re: Skype

@Shamiks I agree with you here. It will be a major breakthrough. I am not sure if it has the capability of conference calls. I think this feature will be a great addition as far as buisness is concerned. What do you say?

SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
8/12/2015 | 8:23:34 AM
Re: Skype
I don't hate Skype or any of its competitors for that matter, but quite a few things have to improve before I would rely on it.  The annoyance of having to buy SIP connection licenses both on the Skype side and your PBX side really doesn't make sense.  If your PBX is SIP compliant why not just use your PBX vendor's SIP client for voice calls and avoid that double dipping of license costs?  I don't know too many people using Skype for the text chat functionality but since it has replaced Lync maybe that will change.  I just see this as a somewhat clunky accessory hanging off of your PBX rather than a complete telephony solution at this point, especially if you're running one of the leading PBXs out there that do chat, video, SIP, etc. 
shamika
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shamika,
User Rank: Ninja
8/12/2015 | 7:14:23 AM
Skype
Wow this is great. Most of the businesses now use skype and the IM for internal communication purposes. Hope this will come in handy.
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