by Phoummala Schmitt

skype

The Lync 2013 client update called Skype for Business client that was released in April 14, 2015 and has been out for about 2 months now.  This update is really a re-branded and upgraded version of the Lync 2013 client, but with a new GUI plus a few new features.  However the Skype for Business is not the same product as the consumer Skype that most may have used.  These are separate products, so they should not be confused and can be installed on the same computer.

The short time between the announcement and the official release date there wasn’t much room for testing; so many administrators were either caught off guard or rushing to test it. If you are like many organizations you may choose to delay the update until your enterprise is ready to experience the new look and feel of Skype for Business.

This is post is for those that have not dared to install the update, and experience the new greatness of Skype for Business client update.  It is a change from Lync 2013, so if you have not prepared your users yet I would suggest you do so or they may be in confused on what happened to their Lync client. The new client has a new look and feel , and we will show you what is waiting for you when you decide to update.  So here we go!

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  • New GUI – The new GUI has a more Skype look and feel. If you have previously used the consumer version of Skype this look may be familiar

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  • New Icon – When the update is installed users will get a new Skype for Business icon.

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  • File transfer preview – If another user is sending you a file in an IM you now have the ability to preview the file.
  • Call Monitor – This feature allows you to switch between a full Skype for Business window, or use a compact view so you can multi task while in a meeting. The compact view comes on when you minimize a meeting window, and it allows you mute or end calls without having to re-open the larger meeting window. This comes in handy for laptop users.
  • Lync Meeting Outlook plugin – Has been renamed to New Skype Meeting.

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  • Join Meetings easier – View your upcoming meetings, and quickly join them directly from the Skype for Business client.  Note this only works for meetings that are hosted by your environment, and if you need to join a meeting hosted by an external company you will still need to open your calendar event.  In previous versions of the Lync client this was not available.

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  • Emoticons – The Skype for Business client now has the same emoticons as the well-known consumer Skype version. You can now send many smiley faces and beer mugs to your co-workers.

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So there you have it, those changes were not too bad right?  With good communication to your users prior to deploying the changes adoption of Skype for Business should become easier.

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