Skype for Business Preview now available for Mac OSX

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Not long ago Microsoft announced the availability of Skype for Business Mac Preview. This brings the powerful Skype experience to all interested Mac business users across the globe. The experience should be more or the same when compared to the Windows version.

Microsoft plans on releasing the final version after it pushes out three important updates as detailed below:

Preview phase one—Once you sign in, you’ll see your meetings for today and tomorrow, based on your Outlook calendar, displayed in the Skype for Business client. Join any meeting with just one click and enjoy full screen video, content viewing, in-meeting chat and the ability to invite others to the meeting.

Preview phase two—We’ll be adding instant messaging, presence and contacts in the next preview release coming in early summer. You can continue to use Lync for Mac 2011 side-by-side with Skype for Mac Preview, giving you continued access to messaging and voice features.

Preview phase three—We will add telephony and related features later in the summer.

The ability to use Lync for Mac 2011 alongide Skype for Business Preview is a great idea, especially for those who are not yet willing to give up Lync. However, they will have to after the full release seeing as Skype for Business will completely swallow Lync 2011.

Microsoft also said it decided to release the Mac version of Skype for Business in bits and pieces because it doesn’t want to disrupt the workflow of users. The company said adding features such as instant messaging and presence at this point could have a negative impact on overall productivity.

We like that Microsoft has gone on to support the Mac OSX platform in a big way over the years. Many folks have switched to a Mac during the time of Vista and Windows 8, but that doesn’t mean they should not be able to still use their favorite productivity tools.