Microsoft has finally released today the first public preview of Skype for Business for Mac users. If you're not familiar with it, Skype for Business (previously Lync) is a professional cross-platform communication solution integrated into Office 365 that allows companies to simplify their infrastructure with one platform for calling, conferencing, video, and sharing. Commercial customers interested in the preview can go to
Commercial customers interested in the preview can go to SkypePreview.com to request an invite to test the Mac client. Once IT administrators are in, they will be able to download the preview client and manage its distribution to end users within their organization.
While Microsoft plans to release a complete version of Skype for Business for Mac in the third quarter of 2016, the final release will be preceded by three preview versions. Today, the initial release has quite limited features as the preview software will only let you see and join your upcoming meetings based on your Outlook calendar. In one click, you can join any meeting and enjoy fullscreen video, content viewing, in-meeting chat and invite others to the meeting.
Phase two of the preview, coming in early summer, will allow Mac users to use instant messaging, add contacts, and set their presence status in Skype for Business. Later in the summer, the third phase of the preview will add telephony and other related features. You can watch a quick video tour of the app below:
While the Skype team shared its plans to expand the preview to everyone in the coming weeks, Mac users can continue to use Lync for Mac 2011 side-by-side with Skype for Mac Preview in the meantime. The team is asking preview users to share their feedback: you can either do it directly in the client by clicking on "Report an Issue" or via the Skype for Business Mac Preview feedback website.
Are you excited that Skype for Business will finally replace Lync on Macs? Please share your experience with us in the comments.