Skype for Business Preview Program


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Jeff Stoffel

I am excited, as I am sure many of you are as well, about the new features that are coming to Skype for Business.  We have recently announced a preview of these features.  If you interested in giving these upcoming capabilities a try, be sure to check out the Skype for Business Preview.

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What is it?  The Preview program provides you early access to new Skype for Business features. It enables your organization to get a sneak peek at what’s coming and to test out the new features in your own environment and give feedback before we release to the general public!

As the name implies, the features in Preview are not yet final and we would like you to try them out and provide us with your feedback and even help us identify any possible bugs left.  Below you will find a list of features that are currently in Preview that you can start testing. To take part in the program simply Sign Up Now.

Because this is a pre-release program, we will not be able to accept all applications into the program, however our goal is to allow as many people as possible to try our new features before General Availability.  

Skype Meeting Broadcast

Skype Meeting Broadcast enables organizations to broadcast a Skype for Business meeting on the Internet to up to 10,000 people, who can attend from a browser on nearly any device. Meeting broadcast makes it easy to host large virtual meetings like internal “Town Hall” style meetings and public webinars. The preview includes integration with Bing Pulse, for real-time polling and sentiment tracking, and Yammer, to enable attendee dialogue during the broadcast. 

PSTN Conferencing (U.S. Only)

PSTN Conferencing will be available in preview to Office 365 customers in the U.S. PSTN Conferencing allows people invited to a Skype for Business meeting in Office 365 to join the meeting by dialing-in using a landline or mobile phone. This traditional dial-in capability is in addition to simple, single touch join options on PC, smartphone and browser, and allows people to join an online meeting even in places with no Internet access. PSTN conferencing in Office 365 will also allow people to add others to a meeting by dialing-out. 

Cloud PBX with PSTN Calling (U.S. Only)

Cloud PBX with PSTN Calling gives Office 365 customers in the U.S. the ability to make and receive traditional phone calls directly from their Skype for Business client, and to manage these calls with features like hold, resume, forward and transfer. This preview is built on the already proven enterprise voice technology available in Lync Server and Skype for Business Server. In the fall, we will ship Cloud PBX for customers worldwide, with a configuration option for customers to use existing on-premises phone lines for inbound and outbound calling.

Please note: During the Preview program, the Cloud PBX with PSTN Calling technologies will not provide a reliable method of making 911 calls or 911 texts. By signing up for the program, you acknowledge that you have read and understood this critical limitation.

Skype for Business iOS/Android Preview

As with the Skype for Business desktop client, we are updating our mobile clients to Skype for Business.  These rebranded mobile clients bring not only Skype branding but a simpler, more modern experience.

Through this preview, customers will get an early view of the iOS and Android apps.  Windows Phone users can already download the Skype for Business Windows Phone App today.

Please note that each preview program has specific requirements that are required for participation .  Click on the programs that interest you for additional detail.

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