Skype for Business preview gets meeting broadcasts and more

Microsoft has announced a new Skype for Business technical preview available for Office 365 enterprise users. The preview ushers in a trio of new features, two of which are limited to customers located in the United States. The new Skype Meeting Broadcast is perhaps the most notable change for enterprise users, allowing customers worldwide to broadcast a meeting taking place over Skype for Business to up to 10,000 users across multiple devices.

This feature is targeted at companies that need users located in different regions to tune into some sort of company-wide meeting, and enables them to do so from almost any Skype-compatible device they have, such as a PC or iPhone. Bing Pulse has been integrated in with it for live polling and similar features, as well as Yammer for "dialogue" between users.

Joining this are two features only for customers in the United States. First among them is PSTN Conferencing, which allows invited individuals to join in on a Skype for Business Meeting from their mobile phone or landline. This is beneficial for those who need to dial into a meeting because Internet access is limited.

There's also Cloud PBX with PSTN Calling for US customers for both receiving and placing traditional calls from in the Skype for Business client, as well as managing the calls with common phone system features like transferring and holding.

Microsoft anticipates making the features available to the general public before this year's end.