Businesses interested in field testing a preview version of Skype for Business for Mac can now do so: Microsoft announced today that the Public Preview is now starting and will expand over the coming weeks.
Microsoft’s commercial customers can request an invite to test the Skype for Business for Mac client via the Skype Preview web site. According to the software giant, invites will go out to IT administrators first, and then they can can manage its distribution to end users within their organizations. The preview will be expanded to all interested parties in the “coming weeks.”
“The preview will release in three cumulative stages leading to public availability, planned for the third quarter of 2016,” Microsoft explains. “Today’s initial release lets you see and join your meetings.”
More is coming in the future, of course. Microsoft says it will add instant messaging, presence and the contacts list in the next preview release, which is due in early summer, and telephony, in late summer. (Mary Jo Foley previously had published this schedule.)
A handful of Microsoft screenshots visually explain how the client will work. Here, you can see the Skype for Business client, with a list of your Exchange-based schedule as the default view.
To join a meeting, just click it in this view. You can “enjoy full screen video, content viewing, in-meeting chat and the ability to invite others to the meeting,” Microsoft notes.
And that’s about it for now. As noted, more features are on the way.