As part of a monthly Microsoft Office update Lync turned into Skype for Business in April 2015. It combined the functionality, informational security and manageability of Lync with the Skype interface, as well as expanded functionality.
Let’s see what changed?
New interface, so similar to regular Skype
Microsoft developers adopted presence indicators, sounds, icons and emoticons from Skype. See the difference (compare them?) :
Skype for Business
The logic of contact lists and the controls are the same as they were in Lync. This includes Quick Actions, a panel that pops up when you hover the mouse cursor over a contact, which allows you to quickly perform the desired action: send an IM, call, etc.
Skype for Business
The dialog design has changed in the chat window, plus now you can see all active conversations on the left.
Skype for Business IM window
Microsoft borrowed this feature from Skype. Now when you call, you see either a full call screen or a minimized version (fig. left and right, respectively).
Skype for Business Call Monitor
The large format is useful when you are actively taking part in a call. In other cases, you can simply minimize the window so that there is a miniature version with the mute and end call buttons. Double-click to maximize a window.
Microsoft changed the design and the menu contents in the meeting window.
Lync Meeting Window
Skype for Business Meeting Window
The process of showing PowerPoint presentations underwent changes too. The participants only become aware of a presentation when it is fully uploaded and ready to share. In case of issues with the participants' access to the presentation, intervals have been set for repeated connection attempts and for the redirection of the presentation organizer to a solution suitable for the demonstration.
Lync provided 2 frames per second, whereas that has risen to 8in Skype for Business. The presenter can share a standard HD video with the participants during a meeting. Microsoft developers introduced improvements, which allowed for a reduction of bandwidth consumption by more than 90% in P2P sharing.
Now, instead of searching for the necessary menu item and the file you need to attach and transfer during a conversation, you can drag and drop it directly into the chat window. There is also a preview function now. When someone is sending you a file, before you accept it, you can see its title, type and size.
Moreover, now Skype for Business users can contact not only their colleagues but also any of the 300 million users of standard Skype by using their Skype ID.
P.S. Some of the images were taken from the official Microsoft website.