Skype for Business finally makes its way to the Mac

A new technical preview makes it easier to join videoconference meetings

Microsoft's new business communication product is finally coming to the Mac after the company launched it for PC users last year.

The company announced the first technical preview of Skype for Business for Mac on Tuesday morning, giving users of Apple computers an easy way to connect to meetings they have scheduled through Microsoft's professional audio and videoconferencing software. 

When users sign into the app, they'll see their Skype for Business meetings for the current day and the following one, and be able to easily join them to discuss whatever business things they want to with the other people invited.

Skype for Business is the successor to the company's venerable Lync product, which is still available for Mac during this transition. 

The final release of the Mac version of Skype for Business is slated for the third quarter. Between now and then, Microsoft has two additional beta phases planned for the app. The second beta phase will include instant messaging, presence indicators and access to a user's contacts. 

In the third beta phase, Microsoft will bring along support for telephony and other advanced features supported by other versions of the product. That's important for businesses that have paid for advanced Skype for Business features like the ability to place phone calls from the application over a traditional phone line. 

This beta push is part of Microsoft's ongoing strategy to extend the reach of its products to a wide variety of platforms, including the Mac. 

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Blair Hanley Frank

IDG News Service
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