Microsoft recently announced that the next version of Lync will become Skype for Business in the first half of 2015. Microsoft will be releasing a new client experience, new server release, and updates to the service in Office 365. Skype for Business takes advantage of both Skype for Lync and it will include many new features. In the current preview version, Microsoft has added the following new features,
- New Skype for Business logo and branding in the UI.
- Call Monitor—We brought one of the beloved Skype features to Lync. When you move focus away from the current call, you’ll get a mini version of the call with Mute and End Call buttons.
- “Peek” menu/conversation control simplification—No more “peek” menu on hover, no more nested navigation. We’ve aligned with Skype’s core conversation controls and flattened our task menu hierarchy, allowing quicker access to tasks, and improving feature discoverability.
- New PSTN call controls—Power users need fast and easy access to dial-pad and other calling features. We have a new dial pad layout that reduces the number of clicks to the core call management tasks. The feedback has been very positive based on usability studies with actual customers.
- Chat message bubbles are now included in updated IM experience.
- There’s a new tab layout in the conversation window for better unread message notification.
- Round photos are now available in chat conversations.
- Animated emoticons are now available.
Thanks to Brad for the heads up!