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#Skype4C: A Quick Look at #Skype Web Audio/Video Plugin

Skype has recently noted that Skype for Web will soon be available www.skype.com and to “look out for access to Skype for Web on Skype.com in the coming weeks”.

At this time the Skype for Web is not available at Skype.com but in the mean time you can take a look at the existing Skype for Outlook.com plugin available in OneDrive.com immediately. (NOTE: The existing Skype web plugin on OneDrive.com may have nothing to do with the plugin used in the Skype for Web app.)

To see the Skype plug being used on Onedrive, Login to OneDrive.com and click on People, and find a Skype user that is online.

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Find someone online and media capable and click on video or audio call button and the Skype plugin download process will being.

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Or search for a Skype enabled user in People Search and click Call (Skype)

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Skype Plugin download prompt at which we will click “Run” (Note that the plugin is 6.28MB in size.)

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Run plugin prompt

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Downloading

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Skype download plugin setup complete.

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The Skype plugin UI while making an audio call. Looks very similar to Skype UI.

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There is also an Instant Message panel by pressing the IM button.

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The conversation panel disappears after the call ends in the OneDrive | People web app, but we still don’t know how this will work in the Skype for Web app.

That’s all for now. We’ll keep looking for Skype for Web on www.skype.com.

http://blogs.skype.com/2014/11/14/please-welcome-skype-for-web-beta/

Skype for Outlook.com Plugin
http://www.skype.com/en/offers/outlook/

Skype for Outlook FAQ
https://support.skype.com/en/faq/FA12316/what-is-the-skype-web-plugin-and-how-do-i-install-it-in-outlook-com

Skype for Business Client: Detailed Look At What’s New

Detailed look at the changes and new features in Skype for Business client based on released screenshots and statements. (Obviously the product has not been released so everything is subject to change.)

Skype for Business Detailed Look at What is New

(Below is the PowerPoint. Note some pages of the PowerPoint have audio)

Here it is:

Lync Gets a New Name: Skype for Business

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Above, new white on blue logo (from rebranding video below) Below, more typical blue on white logo.

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Note: detailed look at Skype for Business client click here

According to Gurdeep Sing Pall on blogs.skype.com, Lync will get a new name in the first half of 2015 and it is…Skype for Business. To quote Gurdeep:

“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. We believe that Skype for Business will again transform the way people communicate by giving organizations reach to hundreds of millions of Skype users outside the walls of their business.”

Checkout the Microsoft marketing new name introduction video below:

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Is Lync Server (on-premises) name changing as well?
A. Yes, Lync Server (on premises) is getting the name change to Skype for Business as well as Office 365 version. This is a name change only, and all the server components behind Skype for Business are Lync. So Lync enterprise grade UC product with a new name that is Skype for Business. Think of Skype for Business as the name of the next version of Lync.

Q. When will the name change occur?
A. First half of 2015. This will also coincide with the next release of Lync. So the next release of Lync will be Skype for Business.

Q. Will Skype for Business (previously known as Lync Server) Have New Server Requirements?
A. Skype for Business server will have the same requirements as Lync Server, according to “Microsoft officials”. click here

Q. How do I refer to a Lync/Skype for Business to Skype  Audio/Video Call Now?
A. How about:  “Skype for Business to Skype call”? (yes, I know…)

Q. Are Lync and Skype becoming one product?
A. No. Lync, soon to be known as “Skype for Business” and Skype to entirely distinct products. Skype for Business is an enterprise class UC solution and Skype is a consumer product for individuals. If you want use Skype for Business you will need the Skype for Business (formerly known as Lync) PC client or mobile clients. If you want to use Skype (consumer) you will need to install the Skype (consumer) PC or mobile clients.

Q. How do I identify Skype for Business clients versus Skype (for consumer) on Marketplaces?
A. It appears that Skype for Business will have outline scheme as opposed to Skype (for consumer) solid. See Google Play (click here) or iPhone (click here)  .We will see more going forward. (see illustration below)

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The Lync, er, Skype for Business Client Get’s a new Look

According to photos appearing on the same blog article we can see that the Lync client appears to be getting a new look as well. (as shown above.) It appears to follow the Skype theme to some degree while maintaining cohesion with existing Lync client layout. There is the Skype color in the top half of the client and Skype avatar placeholder, new Contact/History/Phone/Meeting icons and other similar layout to existing Lync client. (Note: See my detailed review of Skype for Business client click here)

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Skype for Business will get a new floating “call monitor” window.

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New Skype for Business Conversation window.

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My Video Comparison of Lync vs Skype for Business Client Use Interface

 

What Are Some New Features Coming in the Next Version of Lync? (to be known as Skype for Business)

Here is the list that Microsoft or media has mentioned (See a detailed review of Skype for Business client click here)

  • A new Skype-like look and theme (Gurdeep)
  • transferring a call is now less clicks (Gurdeep)
  • Call Monitor floating window (photo, Gurdeep)
  • Skype for Business (aka Lync) to Skype (consumer) Video calling and Skype User Directory (Gurdeep)
  • Search for Skype ID’s and Add from Skype for Business server/on premises
  • Lookup & Connect with Skype users based on Skype ID and NO dependency on Microsoft Account (MaryJo/Gurdeep)
  • Native interop between Skype for Business on-premises & other video conferencing systems (MaryJo click here)

 

Short Social Media & Twitter Hashtag?

Will it be #SkypeforBusiness? #Skype4B? #S4B? #SFB? It looks like Skype is leading with #SkypeforBusines (see below), which is longer than the very twitter economical #Lync, but unlikely to be unambiguous like shorter abbreviations. (it appears that community feedback is favoring #skype4b as a compromise between recognition and economy click here)

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Personal Thoughts on Lync and Skype for Business

As a Lync MVP who talks and writes about Lync daily there is no secret that there is a community that has developed an attachment to the Lync brand. In a tweet earlier today, Gurdeep Pall expressed this pretty well  with: “Welcome to Skype for Business. Long Live Lync in our heart!”

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Having said that it is impossible to ignore the huge brand awareness around the Skype name—it is pretty much a verb for internet audio and video calling. In fact, when family, friends and church folks ask me what I do, I had already (before knowledge of rebranding) been using the clarification “Lync is like Skype for business.” So I would say it is a very natural name, apart from anything Microsoft may be trying to accomplish.

Of course there is work ahead for everyone that has an investment in the Lync brand. There will likely be some confusion to be cleared up around Skype for Business and Skype (for Consumer) that MVP’s will address. The eco system will need to rebrand. But remember one clear thing: Skype for Business is exactly the same enterprise class UC solution that was Lync. And it is only going to get better.

Gurdeep Sing Pall’s Article:
http://blogs.skype.com/2014/11/11/introducing-skype-for-business/
http://blogs.office.com/2014/11/11/introducing-skype-business/

Mary Joe Foley:
http://www.zdnet.com/microsoft-rebrands-lync-as-skype-for-business-readies-2015-releases-7000035665/

Microsoft Marketing Rebranding Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUetykHsxqQ

Microsoft Lync eBook Becomes Top Microsoft TechNet Gallery Resource

Microsoft Lync Server 2013 Step by Step for Anyone” by Microsoft MVP Matt Landis has just become the top downloaded resource on the Microsoft TechNet Gallery at over 165,000 downloads. Microsoft Lync is a Unified Communication product which provides the unified functionality of Skype calling, video meetings, web meetings and telephone system all integrated into one simple, enterprise grade solution. The book is a step by step guide for any generalist IT expert to setup their first Lync Server lab.

In an interview at Landis Computer Technology Solutions headquarters in Ephrata, Pennsylvania Matt Landis noted that rapid rise of this Microsoft Lync Server book on TechNet is an indicator of the huge uptake of Microsoft Lync as the Unified Communication and telephony solution of choice among enterprises nationally and internationally. “The Lync book’s huge demand merely mirrors the real-world demand for Microsoft Lync that we see in our consulting work.” (“Microsoft Lync Server Basic Administration” by Fabrizio Volpe is also very popular click here) Matt notes that “Organizations are replacing older telephone centric solutions in favor of of unified communication solutions and Microsoft Lync is a top solution in this group.” Many experts believe that UC is the next communication paradigm that is replacing both email and phone systems as a primary communication solution and some might see it as significant that Lync has passed Exchange (email server) as the top download resource on Technet Gallery.

Lync has been a leader in UC solutions and earlier this year Microsoft Lync has become the leader of the leaders in the Gartner Unified Magic Quadrant report for 2014. Landis Computer Technology Solutions has specialized in helping organizations replace their PBX’s with Lync along with it’s integrated Enterprise Voice features. Matt pointed out that in the past weeks Microsoft Lync entered the leader quadrant for Corporate Telephony in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Corporate Telephony.

Matt Landis is the CEO of Landis Computer Technology Solutions. Their team provides design and implementation consulting services for Microsoft Lync on the East Coast, nationally and around the world. Matt noted “We work with local businesses to international organizations. We currently have ongoing project implementing Microsoft Lync with Enterprise Voice with locations in the USA, Central America, Europe and Asia. The company also produces Attendant Pro for Lync attendant console software that used is used in enterprises around the world.

Download the Microsoft Lync Server 2013 Step by Step for Anyone eBook for yourself: Click Here
Get a Lync Design/Implementation Proposal from Landis Computer Technology Solutions: Click Here
Attenedant
Pro for Lync: Click Here

snom UC Edition 8.8.3: BTOE, Contact Photos, Conferencing, BusyonBusy & More Goes Live

snom is readying their snom UC Edition 8.8.3.x firmware release that brings some interesting new features to their phones which includes:

  • Lync Server based conference
  • Callback on Busy (CoB)
  • On busy forward to target number
  • Automatic Busy Redialing
  • Conference Roster
  • Boss/Admin Stay in Conference
  • Ad-hoc Conference from Contact Group
  • Contact Search with AD images (color phones)
  • Call Pickup on Ringing (BLF – snom to snom)

In this article we will go over the experience to install and pair BTOE,

Installing BTOE

There is a 32 and 64bit MSI provided.

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Click Accept agreement | Accept Install Folder | Install

After installation the snom BtoeManager will run. For me the driver install failed because it needed to run as Administrator. This was resolve by running BtoeManager as Administrator as shown below:

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Next

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on phone

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on phone

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Now pair

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Now phone and PC will connect and the Lync device driver will be loaded.

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Now Lync 2013 will request credentials for snom phone (which will allow the phone to show Exchange Calendar and upcoming Lync Meetings.)

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After you provide the credentials the pairing will complete.

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Done! That was efficient and simple!

Lync Pictures in Directory Search

The new snom UC firmware show picture in Directory Search screen. (not in Lync contacts screen). Press the Directory button on the phone and type in a search. Now in the results you will see the lync contact phone as shown below:

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Press the “I” softkey to see the AD card

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More modern looking presence

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NOTE: Photos are shown during a search, but not in Lync contact cards.

Conference

Currently adhoc meetings can be launched only from a pre-made Lync group.

Very basic roster on phone…

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You can scroll between the users using the right and left softkeys (in photo above you see the right softkey)

What the Lync client looks like during a meeting initiated from the phone.

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At the moment it doesn’t seem like you can adhoc add a new contact from the phone.
What happens if someone starts showing video? the call is transferred/moved off the snom phone to a headset.

Lync Meeting Notification and Join From snom Phone

The snom phone will indicate upcoming meeting (lower left of main scren of phone) that can be joined by clicking. (photo to come later)

Busy on Busy

On snom phone: Menu | 2-Call Features | 3-Incoming Calls | 2-Call Waiting |

And you now have the following “Call Waiting” options:

  • On = incoming call will ring normally
  • Visual Only = will receive silent, visual indication of incoming call
  • Ringer = will receive notice of incoming call with double beep
  • Off = calls will be sent to voicemail

 

Summary

A nice set of new features and many will greatly appreciate the addition of BTOE.