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skype-logo-feb_2012_rgb_500For everyday users, Skype is a robust communications tool to stay in contact with others. You can use it to chat by message, voice and video, and you can even use it to take and receive calls from traditional phones.

But from conference calls to voice mail, business users have a lot more to deal with when it comes to making phone calls.

The latest update to Skype for Business, announced today at the Microsoft Convergence 2015 event in Barcelona, Spain, brings traditional enterprise calling features to Microsoft’s calling platform.

Updates include broadcasting meetings to a wide number of people via Skype, using Skype as a backend for existing phone hardware and PSTN conferencing, which lets people dial into Skype conference calls using a landline or mobile phone.

The update would allow businesses to completely replace their existing phone service with Skype for Business, while also adding benefits only available through the internet. Perhaps the most important feature is the new meeting broadcast functionality. It allows a user to broadcast via video, voice and screen sharing with thousands of people just by sharing a link.

Co-authoring is another big step in Skype for Business. In virtual meetings conducted through Skype, users can share documents with others on the call and work together on editing them. That makes it easier to keep notes and make changes agreed about in the meeting.

The new Skype for Business rolls out tomorrow as part of Office 365 E5, Microsoft’s enterprise Office solution. Below is a preview of the meeting broadcast service:

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