Microsoft’s announcement that Skype for Business Mac is now available – offering “edge-to-edge video and full immersive content sharing and viewing” – means it’s now no longer a case of ‘PC-only’ or ‘Mac-only’, which could in the past create issues for collaborative working across business teams and between organisations.
Described by Microsoft as “a great first class experience for Mac users,” Julian Dyer, Cobweb CTO, says, “This makes Mac a first class citizen for Skype for Business, and means there is now near parity between the experiences delivered in the PC and Mac environment.
“This has been missing for desktop as far as Skype for Business is concerned, but just as there is Office for Mac, so Mac users will now have a fully featured Skype for Business solution ready to run with all the features and benefits people expect from Skype for Business.”
Skype for Business can transform the way an organisation works, with instant messaging, calling, audio and HD video conferencing, and screen sharing delivered from one single, easy to use cloud-based platform.
Today’s working environment requires the ‘Modern Voice’ and ‘Modern Meeting’ features delivered via Skype for Business and enabling effective communication, collaboration, and information sharing.
Skype for Business Android and iOS enhancements
In the same announcement, Microsoft reported the release of new Skype for Business features in apps on Android and iOS. These include the ability to share PowerPoint decks from the cloud, and on Android files stored on the device itself can also be shared – and once shared are available in the meeting’s content bin for other participants to download or present.
Video-based Screen Sharing (VbSS) on iOS and Android apps means upgraded content viewing, with Microsoft reporting faster initial setup, a more reliable experience and greater bandwidth efficiency, along with a “seamless viewing experience, especially if you are sharing animated content such as CAD models”.
Julian comments, “Again with this development, we’re talking about creating parity, and bringing Android and iOS devices in line with Windows mobile capabilities.
“It shouldn’t matter which device people are using. The richness of experience should be the same across all devices and operating systems.
“Microsoft is bringing their ecosystem into alignment, for ease of use and feature offering.”
Perfect collaboration using the device most suited to work
Depending on the department or even industry, sometimes a Mac is the device of choice, in other cases it’s a PC. For example, the creative/design/advertising agencies and marketing departments are full of Macs using OSX, iOS, whereas their clients – both external and internal – are more likely to work in a PC and Windows environment.
This closer Microsoft-Apple relationship means that businesses and IT no longer have to make a choice between working on one or the other, but are able to utilise both environments without comprising on collaboration and communication, working together with everyone on the device on which they are most happy and comfortable – and productive.
Our blog Cloud PBX & PSTN – business communication for the 21st century looks at how Skype for Business’s Cloud PBX and PSTN offerings deliver the functionality of on-premise internal and external phone systems and incorporating the features critical to supporting today’s working patterns and the modern way to communicate, collaborate, organise and attend meetings.