​Microsoft preps Office 2016, Skype for Business technical previews

Enterprises and developers get a new technical preview for Office 2016 and a test run for Skype for Business.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Microsoft on Monday rolled out technical previews for Office 2016 and Skype for Business, formerly known as Lync, in a move that opens the dry runs up to more corporate customers.

Of the two previews, the Office 2016 IT Pro and Developer Preview is the one that'll be most notable. Office 2016 will ride shotgun with Windows 10 for the most part and enterprises are likely to evaluate both together.

With Windows flagging as a cash cow, Office is expected to pick up the slack for Microsoft along with its various enterprise units.

More: Microsoft delivers first public preview of Office 2016 for Mac | With new Office 2016 preview, Microsoft brings Mac users into the modern era | Microsoft opens Office 2016 preview to more testers | Microsoft Office 'universal' to be free on Windows 10 phones, small tablets |

Office 2016 has been in private preview and will now be opened to commercial Office 365 customers. In a blog post, Microsoft noted that Office 2016 doesn't have all the features it will have so it's unclear how far beyond developers the preview will go.

The Office 2016 features that may matter include data loss protection, Outlook technical improvements and click to run deployments that'll allow for network traffic, update and activation management.

As for the Skype for Business preview, Microsoft launched a technical preview. The rollout will be generally available in April. The impact of Skype for Business is less than Office 2016 since it's likely that current Lync customers will be most interested and have to upgrade at some point.

Most software and hardware designed for Lync 2013 will be compatible with Skype for Business.

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