And now business users that just happen to use a Mac are getting a nice preview of what’s to come. Microsoft has just announced Skype for Business Mac Preview, which is a pre-release build of the messaging platform that Microsoft is granting access to. The idea is to create an enterprise-friendly platform for business users to use while they work within OS X, and Microsoft is allowing professionals to request access into the preview period beginning today.
Microsoft has a three-stage rollout planned for Skype for Business on Mac. The first wave, which begins today, will bring Outlook integration into the fold. This will allow users to not only view meetings, but also join them with just a single click, right from within Skype. Down the road, Microsoft will also introduce support for instant messaging, a robust contact list, and more — all before the official, public release is available later this year.
As far as the differences go between the business-focused Skype and the standard consumer version, the former variant allows for up to 250 people to be on a single call, while the consumer version only supports 25. IT professionals will also be able to manage accounts in the business-specific version, and Outlook integration is also only available in the business model.
Microsoft is going to be granting access to organizations first, and invitations will be going out daily beginning today. Those able to try out the preview period of Skype for Business Mac will be able to submit feedback on the app and service on a regular basis, thanks to a new dedicated page.
If you want to sign up for Skype Preview, click here.
Skype for Business Mac is planned to get released to the public sometime in the third quarter of this year. It will replace Microsoft Lynk for Mac.