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Microsoft's Lync becomes 'Skype for Business'

Skype on the desktop for all Office users: what could go wrong with that?

Microsoft Lync is dead, replaced by Skype for Business.

Lync is/was Microsoft's unified communications product and offers voice, video, instant messaging and videoconferences, all delivered from a single client. Integration with Microsoft Office means lots of click-to-talk-or-chat action.

As of next year, however, Lync will become known as “Skype for Business”. The Lync server will become “Skype for Business Server”.

Microsoft says the big change is that Lync's client will get Skype's look and feel. None of Lync's features will go, but some of Skype's will appear including a user's Skype contacts being available to Lync. Beyond that there's not much more detail than a video so saccharine that we dare not embed it here lest the howls of derision wake sleeping Reg hacks on the other side of the planet.

Microsoft promises that adopting Skype for Business will be a simple matter of updating one's client software and Lync server.

Skype is undoubtedly a bigger brand than Lync, so there's not much pain there for users. Skype's offering of paid call plans may, however, get some of Microsoft's telco friends a little worried asn it raises the prospect of over-the-top calls eating their lunches. That Microsoft takes Office 365 to market with telcos will assuage some, but the insertion of Skype into the business desktop has the potential to get feathers flying. ®

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