Microsoft Launches Skype for Business
Microsoft's rebranded and revamped enterprise communications software platform is currently being pushed out to Office 365 customers.Skype for Business has officially launched on schedule and nearly a month after Microsoft released the technical preview to Lync's successor. In an April 14 announcement, Microsoft's Skype for Business Team revealed that "the new Skype for Business client is now rolling out as part of the April monthly update for Office 2013." The software sports a revised user interface that blends Skype's signature look with Lync's advanced, business-oriented calling, messaging and video conferencing capabilities. "In addition, Skype for Business Online is now rolling out to Office 365 customers worldwide, and we expect the rollout to be complete by the end of May," stated Microsoft. The Skype for Business rollout completes a two-year effort to integrate Skype and Lync, transforming the former into a major enterprise application. The project began in earnest in early 2013, when the company announced plans to enable calls and text chats between Lync users and Skype's big user base that same summer. According to Microsoft, more than 300 million people use Skype each month to chat or conduct voice and video calls.
"By bringing the assets that we have on the consumer front with Skype and on the enterprise front with Lync, we can have a unified platform that really brings communications from the living room to the boardroom in a way that makes sense and is rationalized and connected rather than having disconnected islands," Microsoft General Manager Giovanni Mezgec told eWEEK at the time.