Microsoft will release Skype for Business early next year, the company said via blog post on Tuesday.
The next version of Lync will be called Skype for Business, and will feature 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,” wrote Gurdeep Pall, corporate vice president of Skype in a Nov. 11 blog.
Microsoft will keep intact Lync’s capabilities, including content sharing and telephony, with improvements. In the new Skype for Business, for example, transferring a call takes one touch or click, instead of three. There’s also the addition of video calling, alongside Lync’s IM and audio calling with Skype users. On the Skype side, Microsoft is retaining icons for calling, adding video and ending a call. Plus, there’s a Skype call monitor.
Upgrading to Skype for Business should be painless, according to Microsoft.
“Current Lync Server customers will be able to take advantage of these capabilities simply by updating from Lync Server 2013 to the new Skype for Business Server in their datacenters,” Pall said. “No new hardware is required. For Office 365 customers, it’s even simpler. We’ll do the required updates.”
Microsoft bought Skype three years ago to strengthen its standing in the communications field.