UC, Skype for Business 2015, Lync is now Skype for Business — see what's new

This page provides an introduction to the Skype for Business interface.

If you already use Skype to stay in touch with friends and family in your life away from work, you'll appreciate the power and simplicity of Skype for Business where it's easy to find and connect with co-workers. And you can use the devices you already have to reach businesses through an enterprise-grade, secure, IT-managed platform. If you're coming to Skype for Business from Lync, you'll recognize all of the features you already use but in a fresh new interface with simplified controls and some great new additions:

New Look and Feel

If you’re a regular user of the commercial version of Skype, then Skype for Business will seem very familiar: the Contacts list, presence indicators, buttons and icons, and even the app sounds should make you feel right at home. To learn more, see What's Skype for Business?

Skype for Business Contacts list

Of course, all the essential Lync features are still there—like the Quick Actions buttons, which let you IM or call a contact (and more) with just one click or tap.

Contact quick actions: IM, audio, video, contact card, and more

In the Skype Meeting window, the simplified arrangement of controls and menus makes it easy to find the command you need. In the conversation window, chat text is formatted so you can easily see who’s talking, and tabbed conversations allow you to keep track of several discussions at once.

IM window with two conversations, and meeting window with Present menu

If you've ever had someone send you a file during an IM conversation, then file transfer preview is another feature of the new Skype for Business look and feel you'll appreciate. When someone sends you a file, select Download in the IM window to update the file's icon, or right-click or tap and hold to forward, preview, or delete it.

Preview a file sent to you during an IM conversation

Integration with the Skype Directory

Skype for Business users on the campus network can connect over the Internet with hundreds of millions of Skype users right from the Skype for Business user interface. The first step is to search for your contact.

  1. In the search box on the Contacts view of the Skype for Business main window, type a name, IM address, or desk phone number (if they are on the campus network). As you type, search results will start appearing below the search box and the tabs will change from Groups, Status, Relationships, and New:

    When the Search box is empty, the available tabs are Groups, Status, Relationships, and New.

    to My Contacts and Skype Directory:

    When you start typing in the Search box, the tabs below change to My Contacts and Skype Directory.

  2. If the person you are searching for is on the campus network, keep the My Contacts tab selected (that's the default). When My Contacts is selected, Skype for Business searches the campus Active Directory.

    If the person you are searching for is not on the campus network but you know they have a Skype account, click the Skype Directory tab to search for them among the millions of Skype users out there. Knowing their Skype ID and location helps narrow the search quickly. You can also search using their email address or Microsoft account (e.g., JohnDoe@outlook.com).

When you search for contacts in the Skype directory, you can add them to your contact list, have an instant messaging conversation, see their presence information, and have an audio or video call with them. Note that the Skype directory only contains contact information for Skype users, not Skype for Business users. A Skype user who wants to add a Skype for Business user to their contact list must use the Skype for Business user's full email address, such as Joe@contoso.com.

Call Monitor

Call Monitor is a popular Skype feature that's now available in Skype for Business. With Call Monitor, you can move back and forth between a full Skype for Business window, for those times when you're actively participating in the call, and a compact version that lets you continue to monitor call progress—and mute or end the call—while focusing on other tasks.

The compact Call Monitor window appears during an audio or video call whenever the main conversation window is minimized. To show the full conversation window again, simply double-click or double-tap the Call Monitor.

Screen shots of both full Skype for Business windows and minimized window

Rate My Call

The Rate My Call feature lets Skype for Business Server administrators collect call data, access standard reports, and export raw data for further analysis. The survey window shows up after completing a call.

Screen shot of the call quality rating dialog

Rate My Call reports will occur at a random interval.

Quick Access to Call Controls

Access to the dial pad and call controls is much improved. For public switched telephone network (PSTN) calls, the dial-pad and call controls remain visible throughout the call. For non-PSTN (land line) calls, the dial-pad and call controls are accessible with one click.

Comparison of call controls in PTSN and non-PTSN calls


Skype for Business now includes the same set of emoticons found in the consumer version of Skype. You can turn off emoticons in Skype for Business by going to Options > IM.

Screen shot showing available emoticons and the control for turning them on and off

Related topics

Keywords:Skype for business, uc, skype, lync, interface, directory, contact, contacts list, presence, presence indicators, sounds, emoticons, quick actions, im, instant message, meeting window, conversation window, skype directory, skype for business server 2015, search, call monitor, rate my call, call controls   Doc ID:51724
Owner:Lync M.Group:University of Illinois Technology Services
Created:2015-05-28 16:15 CDTUpdated:2017-01-03 16:11 CDT
Sites:University of Illinois Technology Services
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