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Microsoft Releases Windows Phone Version of Skype for Business

Microsoft on Monday unveiled a mobile app of its Skype for Business product designed for Windows Phone devices.

The new app replaces the old Lync client app and comes with a Skype-like user interface. Microsoft also added "at-rest data encryption," meaning that Skype data is encrypted when stored on a server. Microsoft also is promising improved data synchronization with the Skype for Business client, although that requires "running the latest server software."

Users of Windows Phone 8.1 devices with the Lync 2013 client app installed will get automatically updated to the new Skype for Business app, according to Microsoft's announcement. It's not clear from the announcement when those upgrades will take effect, though.

Windows Phone 8.1 users who don't have the Lync 2013 app can simply download the new Skype for Business app from the Windows Store.

The new app isn't available for Windows Phone 8.0 users. They have to either upgrade the OS to Windows Phone 8.1 or continue using the Lync 2013 or Lync 2010 clients on Windows Phone 8.0.

Microsoft doesn't have a native Skype for Business client for the Mac platform. The latest client for the Mac is Lync for Mac 2011, according to Microsoft's TechNet article, "Skype for Business client software support." It's possible to use Skype for Business Web apps, though, on both Mac and Windows platforms.

Surprisingly, Microsoft does not have native Skype for Business clients available for Android and iOS platforms. There aren't any Web apps for those OS platforms either.

On the desktop side, Microsoft released Skype for Business clients for Office 365 and Office 2013 users back in April.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.