Microsoft today announced the launch of a new Skype for Business app for Windows Phone. Previously Skype for Business could be accessed through the Lync 2013 app, but now Skype for Business is getting its own dedicated Windows Phone app.
There are some notable improvements in the new app, which the Skype for Business team described today in a blog post:
If you are familiar with the Lync app for Windows Phone, you’ll notice a number of enhancements in the new app. The most noticeable differences right off the bat are the Skype for Business brand and UI, which is intuitive and familiar if you happen to use Skype in your personal communications. We’ve also revamped emoticons, which now offers over 100 emoticons to land your message visually.
We have improved how the app and the server handle conversation notifications. Once you’re notified of a new conversation on your phone, the other clients you have logged in won’t be able to grab the conversation and prevent you from responding on your phone.
Voicemails and conversation history are now encrypted at rest, as well. Conversations are now synced across users’ devices, too — so long as companies are running the latest Skype server software.
Microsoft acquired Skype for $8.6 billion in 2011. Skype is used by more than 300 million people, Microsoft said in a blog post in November. At that time Microsoft did tell users that “in the first half of 2015, the next version of Lync will become Skype for Business with a new client experience, new server release, and updates to the service in Office 365.” While that certainly became true when Skype for Business launched in April, the service is now finally available for Windows Phone as well.
People with Lync 2013 on Windows Phone 8.1 will automatically get the update to the new Skype for Business app. People running Windows Phone 8.1 who don’t have Lync 2013 can now download the new Skype for Business App. And people running Windows Phone 8.0 can keep using Lync 2013 or Lync 2010. Those apps will still work, Microsoft said in today’s blog post.