Skype for Business

Video calling between Skype and Lync available now

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Share via OneNote Share via Email Print

Today’s post was written by BJ Haberkorn, director of product marketing for the Lync Team

Editor’s Note:
The video calling with Lync requires Skype for Windows desktop client version 7.0.x.100.  We are experiencing issues with some browser versions where an older client is downloaded.  If you’ve downloaded at the link below, and the version is not 7.0.x.100, please download using a different browser.


In 2013, we enabled Lync users to contact people on Skype using instant messaging, presence, and audio calling right from your contact list. I’m happy to say that we’ve now taken the next step by adding video calling between Lync 2013 and the latest Skype for Windows desktop client, available for download here. Now Lync users can conduct everyday business and collaboration “face-to-face” with customers, partners and suppliers who use Skype.

Skye Lync video

The screenshot above shows a video call from the Lync perspective. Whether you’re using Lync or Skype, it’s an easy, familiar experience—you make the video call the same way you make any other call, with the same options for starting, stopping, re-sizing and maximizing video. (As you can see from the picture, Elaine and Sean are pretty excited about the update; Elaine blogged about it on

The best of both

What’s not obvious from the screenshots is the work we’ve done in the underlying media stack to enable the connectivity. Lync and Skype have always delivered phenomenal voice and video experiences to business and consumer users across a wide range of environments and network conditions. Now, we’re taking the best of both to make both even better.

This includes built-in security, with enterprise class encryption of both media and signaling using TLS and SRTP, enabled by default. It includes connectivity, with standards-based traversal of personal and corporate firewalls using STUN, TURN and ICE. It includes high quality, scalable video using the industry standard H.264 SVC codec. Finally, it includes the SILK audio codec as the default choice for Lync to Skype calls. SILK is used for billions of minutes of audio calls every day, and provides a phenomenal balance between audio quality, bandwidth utilization and power consumption.

The provisioning guide for Lync-Skype connectivity includes instructions for both Lync Online and Lync Server 2013 customers to enable the capability, and the end user guide shows how to add contacts and make calls. The video calling requires an up-to-date Lync 2013 client on either Android, iOS or Windows. It works today with the latest Skype for Windows desktop client only, and requires that the Skype user sign in with their Microsoft account.

What’s next

As excited as we are about this, we know we have more work to do. We will extend support to the Skype clients on additional platforms, starting with Android and iOS in the coming months. We will add support for SkypeIDs and make it easier to find and add contacts from the worldwide Skype directory when the next version of Lync becomes Skype for Business in the first half of 2015. These planned improvements to Lync Skype connectivity are just one example of how Skype for Business will keep and improve on all of the capabilities of Lync.

Stay tuned for more updates on Skype for Business, by following our social channels (Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn) and talking your Microsoft sales specialist or partner. We’d also love to see you at one of the worldwide Office 365 Summit events, where, starting in mid-January, we plan to share more details on Skype for Business.

— BJ Haberkorn

  1. As always it seems the Mac has been skipped. Any word on a better Lync client for Mac and support?

    Or a Mac Lync client that doesn’t look like it was written in the 90s?

    • Agree on your comment. We have 7K users on MAC and 3K on Unix.
      Microsoft needs to pay attention to this and deliver the solution, otherwise great product like LYNC is getting blackeye.

  2. I agree that Microsoft needs to stop alienating the OS X crowd. Not updating MS Office for Mac in a timely manner is a bad enough. My university is considering using Blue Jeans because of this nonsense. The Lync client loves to tout true OS agnostic and it is not. I am hoping Microsoft gets it together.

  3. Like others here, what about our beloved OS X? We switched to Office 365 and it has been less than ideal but, we were expecting Skydive to sync with our business account (does not) and we had heard about the upcoming Lync/Skype connectivity.

    Another disappointment. Can Microsoft at lease provide a date to keep us from fuming?

  4. One really exciting side effect of opening up Skype-Lync connectivity is that Pexip have, within hours of this announcement, been able to use this technology to extend the reach of Skype users so they can now seamlessly interconnect with Cisco Telepresence, Polycom, Lifesize, and Chrome/Firefox WebRTC and Lync users via Pexip Infinity.

    This is truly the dawn of a new era in video connectivity!

  5. Does anyone know whether this will work in a Lync 2010 environment?

    We’ve been looking at a migration to 2013, but of course that may have to wait now until the Skype for Business platform is released (and run in the wild for a while) but in the meantime my company has a real win here if we could allow Video Interviews from the HR folks to candidates using Skype.

    I’ll be trying it out, but does anyone have any advice / experience trying this from a 2010 client with a 2010 Front End / Edge?

    • Hi Gregory. No, this will not work with a Lync 2010 client. Lync 2010 does not support H.264 SVC, which is the standard codec used for the capability.

    • We have 2010 Lync server and I was able to connect internal with Skype Desktop on Windows 8 to Lync Client 2013 on Windows 8.1. We are testing external now and will look at the KB3023566 and allowed ports 10100-10200 on the firewall to see if we can get external video to work.

    • Confirmed – We have this working from the 2010 client, but we do have Server 2013 FE running.

  6. Great news.

    One little gotcha we found though, we couldn’t successfully connect until we found KB3023566 and allowed ports 10100-10200 on the firewall.

    Now all works well!

Comments are closed.