It is official – the next version of Lync is being renamed “Skype for Business” in the first half of 2015!
The news was released today on Skype’s main blog:
“In the first half of 2015, the next version of Lync will become Skype for Business with a new client experience, new server release, and updates to the service in Office 365. We believe that Skype for Business will again transform the way people communicate by giving organizations reach to hundreds of millions of Skype users outside the walls of their business”.
What you need to know:
- There will still be two distinct products: Skype for Business and Skype for Consumers.
- Skype for Business does not “replace” Lync; rather the next release of the on-premises version of Microsoft Lync Server and the Microsoft Lync Client will be renamed to “Skype for Business”.
- The Lync product stays the same under the covers – all the components, technology, infrastructure, and associated capabilities stay as Lync – just the name changes.
- Microsoft will continue to make Skype for Business and Skype for Consumers interoperate (i.e. communicate) with each other – ultimately aiming for a seamless experience whether you are at work or at home. Today instant messaging, audio, and video are supported.
- Skype for Business (aka Lync ) will have the ability to use the Skype Directory directly from the next release of the Lync Client! This will make it much easier to add Skype contacts and communicate with them.
- The new Skype for Business client will visually look more like the existing Skype client (e.g. theme, icons and workflow) but with all the capabilities of the current Lync client.
- Upgrading to the next version of Lync Server (aka Skype for Business) will require no new hardware from a Lync Server 2013 requirements standpoint.
Here is the video introducing Skype for Business: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUetykHsxqQ.
From the Skype blog, here is a screenshot if the ‘new’ Skype for Business client (Lync vNext client):
For more perspective on how this aligns with Microsoft’s Universal Communication strategy see Microsoft To Rename Lync as ‘Skype for Business’ Next Year in Redmond Magazine.