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The second update for Skype for Business on Mac will be available later today. We continue to add to the client on a regular cadence and encourage you to download the latest client when available. This release includes the following:

 Screen sharing during an audio call - mac perspective.png

  • Audio calls now support desktop sharing
  • VbSS viewing for Office 365 online users
  • Single Windows Mode for 2013 Server users
  • Several other improvements for the client

 


Sharing for audio calls. The ability to share desktops in P2P communications has been asked for by many Mac users. As part of our first step to get this feature enabled, we have enabled sharing during an audio call. In the first image, the Mac client has shared their desktop during an audio call. The second image shows the same share from a Windows client perspective. We know there is more to do and it’s on our roadmap to further enhance this experience.

 

 

 Screen sharing during an audio call - win perspective.png

VbSS Viewing for Office 365 Users. In September 2015, we announced VbSS and added this improved form of sharing to the Windows client. Over the course of the last year we have enabled many of our clients.  And now, it’s available for the Skype for Business on Mac client. This mode of sharing performs better, supports higher frame rates, and the setup time is faster than RDP (our original approach to sharing). In this release, we have specifically enabled viewing using VbSS. If others share using VbSS, the Mac client will also use VbSS to view. If the Mac user wants to share their desktop, they will use RDP to share. We also have VbSS sharing on our futures roadmap and will let you know when that is enabled.

 

 


Single Windows Mode for Lync 2013 Server users. This has been a very popular ask by many of our customers. This allows the user to see their active IM conversations in a single window (with tabs). We have now added this feature for Lync 2013 Server customers. You will just need to enable the policy “EnableIMAutoArchiving” to enable for users on this release.

 

 

For a complete list of improvements to the client, please be sure to read the release notes that come with this update. Customers can choose to download the latest client from the download center. Those who already have the client can use the Microsoft AutoUpdate (MAU) to get the latest.

 

Paul Cannon, Skype Product Marketing Manager

13 Comments
Microsoft

Quick Update - the latest client will be available for download after 4 PM PT.

Contributor

Any ETA on when Federation with Public Skype Users will be integrated in MAC client?

 

Microsoft

@gary woods - thanks for the inquiry. Right now the team is focused on the near term roadmap which includes things like e911, better single tab support, File transfers via IM, and enhancements to our recently announced sharing via audio calls. If you are able to share, curious to hear your particular scenario for this - do you use Skype for Business  and also work with external users (contractors?) who have Skype (consumer)?

Occasional Visitor

What is the version number of this build so I can confirm that I am running the latest version?

Microsoft

@Tyson Baldwin - customers should see 16.2.145 as their build number for regular cadence. Customers who choose get insider builds may be on an even newer build.

Contributor

@Paul Cannon Thx for the response. Yes we are a carrier & offer a geo redundant Hosted Skype For Business solution that has worldwide PSTN calling & conferencing coverage. We offer our clients Open Federation with Public Skype or other organizations of their choice. Even going all the way back to the MAC Client session at Ignite in Atlanta I frankly dont understand why the MAC client lacks so much basic functionality. Will it ever be on par with the Windows S4B client or is that simply not part of the roadmap? Kinda leaves the MAC community out in the cold. Just my .02

 

Gary Woods

VP Biz Dev

NuWave Communications

https://www.nuwave.com/skype-for-business/index.html

 

Microsoft

SfB on Mac 16.2.156 is out but the Download and Office Insider sites offer no details as to what was fixed or enhanced.  Is there a specific place to go to see the release notes for each release? 

Microsoft

Gary - thanks for your feedback on the client. I understand the ask and I am gratified you were at the session back in Sepetember @ Ignite. Hopefully you made it the end of the session where I discussed the Microsoft approach. The plan we have been executing on is to stack rank futures and offer updates frequently. So far we have released functionality twice in the last nine weeks since launch. I am hopeful we will see another update in Feburary. The message for customers is that we are treating the Ma cclient as important and updating frequently as resources permits.

 

My .02 for what its worth - Comparison to the Windows client is an interesting way of evaluating the Mac client. The windows client is older - and has had many releases since OCS days. It is a mature client with many features... some of them not being used by the majority of users. The Mac client is brand new - built from the ground with a modern coding approach for the Mac. Setting the release bar so that we must have parity or be "on-par" would have likely meaned we would not release anything for a long time. And for a vast majority of our customers - that was not acceptable. This was confirmed by customer surveys and interviews when we began the project in mid 2015.

 

So we choose a defined timeline and get the client out with what might be considered most features for the average user. And we are getting really good feedback that the experience is much better then the 2011 client. Not perfect of course but much better.

 

Customers should expect us to continue adding high priority features as we work through the backlog. The backlog is very dynamic because as more customers start using the current version, we get more feedback on items that adjust our priority. File sharing via chat is an example of this. Before launch, we had pushed that feature out for later development. After launch, that changed a lot and we should see it much sooner. All due to feedback.

 

So please keep sharing your thoughts - I and Microsoft really appreciate it.

Microsoft

@Ken Gaugush - Currently the release notes are available at the time of upgrade. After the new year, our content team will be working on getting those published to the web as well.

Occasional Visitor

@Paul Cannon - Thanks for taking the time to read some of these questions and reply back to them.

I was thinking about your response to @gary woods, as our company is having similar concerns with the Skype for Business for Mac client.

 

We have both Macs and PCs in our company and, up until recently, mainly used Skype for internal and external communications.
Recently, Microsoft really trimmed back the ability to centrally manage Skype accounts, which is understandable as they are steering companies towards Skype for Business.

The Windows users can get by with most of the features in the Skype for Business client - it's not a difficult sell as it adds nice address book features, meeting scheduling, and they can still talk with clients that use Skype.

 

But the Mac users cannot do their work without some of these features.

And we can't roll out Skype for Business (Mac or Windows) unless we get feature parity (or as close as possible) for the entire company.
And since it's more difficult to use normal Skype in a business environment, we get departments trying other tools, notably Slack, putting a lot of pressure on us as an IT group.

 

So we're kind of in the position where Microsoft took away the ability to manage Skype and left us without a viable alternative.

Microsoft Teams is great, but just kind of adds to the confusion at this point, as there is a lot of overlap in features.

 

Not trying to complain...I know you guys are working hard and can only do so much with the resources you are given, but hitting some of the low-hanging fruit in the Mac client would go a long way towards keeping a lot of customers. I have voted on the UserVoice forums for features and will continue to do so, so hopefully that will help.

 

-Russ

 

 

New Contributor
Hi Paul, I've been having lots of "connection" issues and I would like to know where would be the best place to get support for these issues. The most notable issue is that my sfb client seems to be connected, but coworkers send me messages and I don't receive them, I know they were trying to contact me because I get a missed conversation email. I usually have to restart the sfb client for it to start working correctly again. Other issues include not being able to unmute in a meeting, not being able to share my screen on a meeting, and a few others. I've tried uninstalling and reinstalling. Just for the sake of ruling out the mac connection, I installed sfb on a Windows VM on my mac and I don't experience the same issues on the Windows sfb client. Any help will be greatly appreciated. -Carlos
New Contributor

 HI,  great feature improvement but I would like to see a sharing control feature also be implemented.

 

thank you

Microsoft

@Jeff Bouchard thanks for the feedback. THere is a newer blog FYI which discusses what we released on Feb 7. Sharing control is definitely on our RADAR and as soon as we can share publicly the timing, we will do it here.