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Skype for Business – its here!

Skype for Business – its here!

16/04/2015 09:00 by Tom Ward-Scammell
Product Manager - Cloud

Ever since the announcement of Skype for Business from Microsoft, there has been non stop chatter about what it will look like, what features will include, what will the transition from Lync to Skype for Business be like?

Well a few weeks ago, Microsoft announced the availability of a technical preview of the Skype for Business client, and as of now, the new Skype for Business client is rolling out as part of April’s monthly update for Office 2013!

As well as the new client being available, Skype for Business Online is now rolling out to Office 365 customers worldwide, and the roll out is expected to be complete by the end of May.

Skype for Business is based on the familiar Skype experience that more than 300 million people use every month to connect with friends and family. It is built right into Office, so features like instant messaging, presence, voice and video calls, and online meetings are an integrated part of the Office experience. And with Skype for Business, you can search for and connect with anyone in the Skype network–inside or outside your organization, making it even easier to connect and communicate with colleagues, clients, friends and family.

So what is Skype for Business?

Skype for Business (formerly Microsoft Lync) is a communications and collaboration service that brings together the familiar Skype experience with the enterprise-grade security, compliance and control found within Lync. It offers features including instant messaging, presence, voice and video calls, and online meetings. It is built right in to Microsoft Office, so initiating chats, calls and meetings is an integrated experience within Office.

Will Skype for Business automatically replace Lync Online for Office 365 customers?

Yes. Microsoft will automatically update the Lync Online service to be Skype for Business Online, and all customers are expected to be transitioned by the end of May. This means administrators and users will begin to see Lync Online be renamed to Skype for Business and the client software interface move away from Lync and appear much more like Skype for Business.

If I am not ready to upgrade, and want more time to prepare for Skype for Business, can I continue to use Lync?

Yes. Administrators for current Lync Online or Lync Server customers can control when the updated experience is rolled out to their users. Visit Microsoft’s Technet Blog at this page to learn more about how to configure the Skype for Business client experience.

How can I learn more about the new client features?

For more information about the features available in the new Skype for Business client, go here.

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