Microsoft Enables Lync-Skype Video Calls
The company enables one of the last major missing features in the Lync-Skype integration process, an undertaking nearly two years in the making.One of the last big barriers between Lync, Microsoft's unified communications platform for businesses, and Skype has been demolished. Lync users can now place video calls to Skype account holders and vice versa, the company announced on Dec. 5. "Now Lync users can conduct everyday business and collaboration 'face-to-face' with customers, partners and suppliers who use Skype," said BJ Haberkorn, director of product marketing for Microsoft Lync, in a blog post. There is a catch, however. While Lync users only require a current version of the Lync 2013 client for Android, Apple iOS or Windows, the capability requires that Skype users have a Windows desktop client (version 7.0.x.100) installed. But other compatible mobile versions are on the way. "We will extend support to the Skype clients on additional platforms, starting with Android and iOS in the coming months," added Haberkorn. Microsoft also intends to support SkypeIDs and integrate worldwide Skype directory contact management features when the Lync rebrand takes effect next year.
Microsoft has been consolidating its Lync and Skype business units since early 2013. "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," Giovanni Mezgec, general manager of Lync, told eWEEK at the time.