Skype for Business adds integrated landline calling for Office 365 subscribers

Skype for Business adds integrated landline calling for Office 365 subscribers

Microsoft just revealed its technical preview of Skype for Business – the client that will unify Lync and Skype – on Monday, but it’s not done sharing news yet.

In a blog post detailing the future of its business communication platform, it’s announced that it will offer its Enterprise Voice feature to business Office 365 users, allowing them to place calls and start conferences over old school landline (PTSN) connections with a good-old phone number.

Previously, this functionality would require businesses to have a Lync Server set-up and pay a separate PTSN service from a third-party. Microsoft is now working with a variety of partners – including AT&T, Verizon and Vodafone – to make the transition between VoIP and landline calls easier in Office 365.

Microsoft says it will make a landline calling preview available in the summer.

As part of its future initiative, the company also discussed an upcoming Skype Room Systems hardware platform – an update to Lync Room Systems –  to supplement physical meeting spaces with Skype technology.

These devices will run, expectedly, on Window 10, and Lync systems will be upgradeable. Microsoft announced a partnership with Polycom to create new Room Systems under the Skype platform. And remember the giant Surface Hub screen from the Microsoft event in January? That’s compatible with Skype Room Systems too.

In case you missed the original announcement, Skype for Business integrates all of Lync’s features into a Skype-inspired interface, while also allowing Lync users to connect with anyone using a Skype user name.

You can download the technical preview for Skype for Business now.

Skype for Business

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