We're always working to improve Skype for Business and are excited to tell you about the latest features that are available now.
Skype for Business 2016
August 15, 2016
This latest release makes sharing and collaboration even easier with the addition of improved desktop-sharing, audio, and presentation capabilities. You'll also enjoy a smoother meeting experience. Read on to learn more.
Video-based screen sharing in meetings
Experience a faster, reliable, and more efficient screen-sharing experience in meetings and conference calls. This feature was previously available only in peer-to-peer video-based screen-sharing.
Note: This feature requires the new version of Skype for Business Server 2016 Cumulative Update (Office 365 only). Read more about version requirements.
For more information, see Video-based screen sharing for Skype for Business Server 2015.
July 1, 2016
Don't wait until someone is online before sending them a message in Skype for Business. You'll no longer receive those "this message can't be delivered" notifications when you send a message to someone who is offline.
Preload meeting attachments
Get a quick start to meetings by preloading attachments when you set up your online meeting in Outlook so that you can get started as soon as the participants join.
Launch Skype for Business from Office 365
You can now launch and perform some basic Skype for Business tasks right from your navigation bar in Outlook on the web for business (Outlook Web App) in Office 365.
February 9, 2016
Prompt to switch audio to newly connected device without putting ongoing call on hold
You are prompted to switch audio for an ongoing call or meeting to a newly connected device, without putting the ongoing call on hold.
December 1, 2015
Leaner Skype for Business
Various engineering investments resulted in a smaller, more nimble Skype for Business 16 client. Not only does it take less space but also requires less memory than version 15, resulting in quicker performance for all users.
Co-author in a Skype for Business meeting
If you're writing a document or creating a spreadsheet or PowerPoint presentation and need to collaborate with others, you can use Office 365 and Skype for Business to co-author and edit while in a meeting or instant message (IM) conversation. Everyone who participates in the co-authoring session sees changes being made to the document in real time.
Smart contacts list
The first time you use Skype for Business, you'll see that your contacts list already includes your manager and the people on your team, and all are tagged for status updates. That's because Skype for Business checks your company's global address book and picks out those people who share your same manager. Of course, you can make changes to this list by adding and removing contacts, creating groups, and sorting contacts into groups that make sense to you.
Don't want to see status updates from your team? You can untag a contact.
This feature is turned on by default for Office 365 users. On-premises customers will have the feature turned off by default but admins can enable it through an in-band setting.
Smart contacts lists are available to both Skype for Business 15 and Skype for Business 16 clients.
Contextual tips are helpful suggestions that encourage you to try Skype for Business features that you might not have used before. The tips are relevant to the task at hand. For example, when searching for a contact, you might see a tip like this:
Click the X at the top of the tip to dismiss it. Once dismissed, the tip will not display again.
This feature is only available in Skype for Business 16.
Peer-to-peer video-based screen sharing
You and your colleagues will enjoy an improved screen-sharing experience thanks to the video-based screen-sharing (VbSS) technology in Skype for Business. While you won't see any changes in the way you present on-screen content during your peer-to-peer calls or chats, you will notice that the connection time is drastically reduced, and the screen presentation is always in sync between presenter and viewer.
VbSS is only used when both parties in the conversation are using Skype for Business 16. For more information, including network bandwidth requirements, see Video-Based Screen-Sharing for Skype for Business Server 2015.
Modern authentication takes advantage of the Active Directory Authentication Library (ADAL) to enable various sign-in scenarios for users of Office 365 and Skype for Business. These scenarios include multi-factor authentication, Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) -based identity provider sign-in, and smart card and certificate-based authentication.
Admins can learn more about ADAL by visiting MSDN.
Support for Office 365 Groups
You probably already know that you can add individual contacts to your contact list, but if your organization uses Office 365 Groups, you can now add those to your list, too. The process is the same, just search for the Group name, right-click the name when you see it in the list, and click Add to contacts list.
Features no longer available in Skype for Business 16
The Skype for Business (Lync) experience is only supported in version 15. In version 16, all users will have the Skype for Business experience only.
Remote Call Control was a feature in previous versions of Lync and Skype for Business, which enabled users to control their private branch exchange (PBX) phones with their Lync and Skype for Business clients.
Note: Microsoft is working with select partners to ensure their IP Phones and other products work seamlessly to provide enterprise grade communications solutions for our customers. See the Skype for Business Solutions web site to learn more about this partnership.