Skype for Business: Microsoft announces new Mac client plus mobile features for Android & iOS

Ross MacKenzie
Tags: Skype For Business

Microsoft has announced that Skype for Business Mac is now available, offering “edge-to-edge video and full immersive content sharing and viewing” and creating “a great first class experience for Mac users”.

Skype for Business simplifies communication infrastructure and can transform the way an organisation works. Instant messaging, calling, audio and HD video conferencing, plus screen sharing are available from one single, easy to use platform.

The power behind Skype for Business is the range of its cloud-based features, critical to supporting today’s working patterns and the 21st century ‘Modern Voice’ and ‘Modern Meeting’ approach to communicating, collaborating, and sharing information, organising and attending meetings.

Julian Dyer, Cobweb CTO, says, “This makes Mac a first class citizen for Skype for Business, and means there is now near parity between the experiences delivered in the PC and Mac environment.

“This has been missing for desktop as far as Skype for Business is concerned, but just as there is Office for Mac, so Mac users will now have a fully featured Skype for Business solution ready to run with all the features and benefits people expect from Skype for Business.”

Skype for Business Android and iOS enhancements

New Skype for Business features in apps on Android and iOS include the ability to share PowerPoint decks from the cloud. On Android, files stored on the device itself can also be shared, and once shared are available in the meeting’s content bin for other participants to download or present.

Microsoft has also announced upgraded content viewing with Skype for Business offering Video-based Screen Sharing (VbSS) on iOS and Android apps. Microsoft report a faster initial setup, more reliable experience and greater bandwidth efficiency, along with a “seamless viewing experience, especially if you are sharing animated content such as CAD models”.

Julian comments, “Again with this development, we’re talking about creating parity, and bringing Android and iOS devices in line with Windows mobile capabilities.

“It shouldn’t matter which device people are using. The richness of experience should be the same across all devices and operating systems.

“Microsoft is bringing their ecosystem into alignment, for ease of use and feature offering.”

Perfect collaboration using the device most suited to work

Now it’s no longer a case of ‘PC-only’ or ‘Mac-only’, which could in the past create issues for collaborative working across business teams as well as between organisations.

One particular device is often more suited for use depending on the department or industry. For example, the creative/design/advertising agencies and marketing departments are full of Macs using OSX, iOS. However, their clients – external and internal – are more likely to work in a PC and Windows environment.

This closer Microsoft-Apple relationship means that businesses and IT are able to utilise both environments working together, with everyone able to work on the device on which they are most happy and comfortable – and productive – without comprise on collaboration and communication.

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