13 November 2014

Microsoft introduces Skype for Business

Microsoft is bringing Lync and Skype together with Skype for Business. In a blog post announcing the move, Gurdeep Pall, Corporate VP for Skype at Microsoft, said that the company is "bringing together the familiar experience and user love of Skype with the enterprise security, compliance and control from Lync to create the most loved and trusted communications platform for doing things together".

Skype for Business 2In the first half of 2015, the next version of Lync will become Skype for Business with a new client experience, new server release and updates to the service in Office 365. "We believe that Skype for Business will again transform the way people communicate by giving organisations reach to hundreds of millions of Skype users outside the walls of their business," Pall said.

Skype for Business will feature Skype icons for calling, adding video and ending a call, as well as the Skype call monitor, which keeps an active call visible in a small window even when a user moves focus to another application.

The new application will also improve on existing Lync capabilities, including content sharing and telephony. "Lync already offers instant messaging and audio calling with Skype users. Skype for Business adds video calling and the Skype user directory making it possible to call any Skype user on any device," shared Pall.

Current Lync Server customers can update from Lync Server 2013 to the new Skype for Business Server in their data centres, while the update will be transparent to Office 365 customers.

To learn more about how Skype for Business will help people be more productive, read the Skype Garage Blog or the Office Blog. An introductory video to Skype for Business can be viewed here.

*Images from the Office Blog.