Microsoft Lync is becoming Skype for Business

Last month, Microsoft announced that it would be rebranding its Lync communications platform as ‘Skype for Business.’ This next generation communications platform from Microsoft will replace Lync, while maintaining many of the rich enterprise grade features that users have come to enjoy (such as IM, presence, video, location, voice).

What should you expect to see with ‘Skype for Business’? Here are a few new features worth noting:

  • New look and feel – the contacts list, presence indicators, buttons and icons, and sounds will mirror Skype’s user interface
  • Cross compatibility with Skype (consumer) and Skype for Business – users can connect with Skype users in business-to-business and business-to-consumer scenarios (available only with Skype for Business Server 2015)
  • File transfer preview – users can download, forward, preview or delete  files sent during an IM session

While ‘Skype for Business won’t be generally available until May 2015, Microsoft is releasing the client for download next week to existing customers.

Current Lync 2010 or 2013 customers will have the option to download the new client in advance of the full release.

Skype-for-Business-intermedia

What changes should I expect to see as an Intermedia customer?

As we prepare for the launch of ‘Skype for Business’ we’ve received a number of questions from our Lync customers about how these changes will impact their service.

Here are our responses to a few of the more common questions:

Do Lync customers have to upgrade to the Skype for Business client?

No, it’s optional at this time. However, in the future we do expect Microsoft to migrate all users to the new client.  At this time Intermedia customers who upgrade to the new client will continue to experience the Lync user interface as we work on updates that support Skype for Business. We will notify customers as soon as it is available.

How do users upgrade to the new client?

The Skype for Business client will be available as a part of a monthly Office update or users can proactively download by checking for updates within their current Lync client.

When will Skype for Business be available?

Intermedia is excited to hear about the new announcement and direction for Lync.  We are planning to offer Skype for Business to our customers and partners as soon as possible, but are currently working through the details on timing.  More information will be shared as soon as it’s available.

Read our KB article for more information on the new ‘Skype for Business’ roll-out.

About Kirsten Barta

Kirsten Barta is Sr Marketing Communications Manager at Intermedia