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Skype for Business

Introducing Skype for Business

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Today’s post was written by Gurdeep Pall, corporate vice president for Skype.

Yesterday we kicked off a global conversation about how Microsoft is reinventing productivity—across the board—to create a world where people can truly make the most of their time and lead more fulfilling lives.  Connecting people across all of life’s moments—to talk, to share, to collaborate—is at the heart of helping people make the most of every moment.  To that end, and for our business customers, we are 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.

A decade ago, Skype broke down the distance barrier by bringing people together from all over the world.  It forever changed the way people shared their lives by getting friends and family together to celebrate special moments and create extraordinary bonds.  Today, Skype is so much more.  It’s used by more than 300 million people for messaging, calling and sharing.  It lets people and groups connect in more spontaneous ways across multiple platforms to have fun and get things done.  From desktop, to mobile to TV—it’s for communicating throughout the day, every day.  Skype is a universal symbol of togetherness.

For the past 10 years, Microsoft has invested in the transformation of business, disrupting the status quo with Lync, by simplifying and unifying all of the different tools people used to communicate for work.  We made Lync a core part of Office to make it easy for people to connect with others to get work done.  Lync means the freedom to work anywhere. It’s like tapping someone on the shoulder to say “let’s chat” no matter where you are in the world.  Colleagues meet together and make decisions in an instant and IT Professionals rest easy knowing their end-users are supported by a secure platform for that they manage and control.   Today, thousands of organizations, large and small, count on Lync for voice, video and conferencing.

Skype for Business 1In 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 organizations reach to hundreds of millions of Skype users outside the walls of their business.

Let’s take a peek at what’s to come:

 

Skype for Business 2We’re really excited about how Skype for Business takes advantage of the strengths of both Skype and Lync. For example, as you can see in the screenshots, we’re adopting the familiar Skype icons for calling, adding video and ending a call. We’ve added the call monitor from Skype, which keeps an active call visible in a small window even when a user moves focus to another application.

At the same time, Skype for Business keeps and improves on all of the capabilities of Lync, including content sharing and telephony.  For example, transferring a call now takes only one touch or click instead of three.

We’re also making it easier to connect to people everywhere. 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.

Current Lync Server customers will be able to take advantage of these capabilities simply by updating from Lync Server 2013 to the new Skype for Business Server in their datacenters. No new hardware is required.  For Office 365 customers, it’s even simpler.  We’ll do the required updates.  And because communications is mission-critical, this release meets a new bar for reliability and performance.

Skype for Business 3

Microsoft is already a market leader in communications. I’m confident that no other company in the world can connect people like Microsoft can. Stay tuned for more updates on Skype for Business and how we reimagine the technologies people use to communicate.  If you’re a current customer, ask your Microsoft sales specialist or partner about Skype for Business and follow our social channels (Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn) for updates.

—Gurdeep Pall

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13 comments
  1. Frankly this is a huge shame.

    The Lync branding and identity is much clearer and better recognised within the enterprise world, and there is no confusion with consumer products whatsoever. Also Skype looks like it was designed by 4 year olds for 4 year olds, so reusing the same interface design is also really not Microsoft’s smartest move either.

    I’m sure you’ve heard what they say about fixing things that aren’t broken.

  2. I’m sorry but for a lot of enterprises, “Skype” is the punchline to a bad joke, whereas Lync has at least built a brand there in its own right.

    But hey, someone had to suggest something for the next version and I suppose it was either this or a talking paperclip that popped up when it looked like someone needed help.

  3. My only question is will it handle conversation history like Skype does? So annoying to have the same conversation saved 5 times! I can leave skype open but lync conversations i have to close constantly so multiple copies dont get saved.

  4. Will this new product incorporate some of the items that Lync is currently missing such as the ability to track attendance for meetings & export to excel and/or show meeting attendance over the history of the meeting? We really need metrics and ability for by name tracking.

  5. you said you are adapting skype icons, so basically its still lync but with a skype theme ? have you guys really expanded skype or just using its name & look & feel to promote your product ??

  6. Is there some official documents available for this? What will change and what are the new stuff?

    Can we expect that emoicons are fixed finally? (e.g. when you type (and you need to type, no copy/paste) “Rich people can buy nice car(s)”. Why do you have emoticon at the end?

    If you are already on the call, can another caller finally hear (busy tone) that you are already in a call, and you are not only a rude person and not answering to her/his call ? 🙂

    Have you improved the conversation history format to degrease the size requirements?

    What is the future of the Responce Groups? Currently you could have 80000+ users in a single Lync pool, but if 3000 users needs to be agents in RGS you suddenly need 3 pools to serving these 3000 users? And pool pairing to this?

    Have you thought to change the edge behaviour, e.g. John receive email from mary@company.com, John’s client goes all the way to edge to query Mary’s company, even John is not allowed to have any federate, or remote actions.

  7. Does this mean that Office 365 Skype for Business will be adding support for non-Skype inbound/outbound calling and the ability to register/transfer a phone number, similar to what Skype currently provides with a subscription?

  8. From the email alerting me to this blog post: “• Subscribe to Office 365 E3 or E4. When Skype for Business becomes available in H1 2015, it will be included in Office 365 E4. This means E4 customers will get immediate access and E3 customers will be well positioned to make that simple step up from E3 to E4 for just a couple dollars more.”

    So current E3 customers that are leaning on Lync Online now, are going to lose Lync/Skype functionality unless we move up to E4?

  9. So is anybody answering these through email or if they were answered would it get posted here?
    Did they just throw up a blog and then abandon it to the users?

  10. Lync was a leap from live meeting recording in moving to natively produced h264 mp4 files will skype for business keep this or move over to some sort of skype native export codec (please say h264 mp4’s)

  11. Microsoft Lync has a rich set of .NET APIs which make it easy to extend the platform and integrate it with other applications. We are heavily dependent on these APIs. For the past few years, Skype developer tools have been virtually non-existent which is concerning – What is the planned support for developers and custom applications currently dependent on the Lync SDK?.

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