Office 365 users accustomed to using Lync for video and Web conferencing have begun seeing the new Skype for Business user interface, with a projected completion date for the rollout by the end of May. The change, which was announced back in November, was included in the April 14th Office 2013 and Office 365 updates pushed out to users worldwide. The transition is automatic, meaning as soon as your update is installed your Lync will be seamlessly replaced. You will then be able to immediately start using Skype for Business to connect with anyone in the Skype network, inside or outside your organization.
Skype for Business builds on all the capabilities of Lync including IM, content sharing and telephony. However, it will look and feel more like Skype, adopting the Skype icons for calling, adding video, and will also come with Skype’s call monitor. Skype for Business is built right into Office, so basically users will feel like they are using the old Skype, but will now gain Lync’s enterprise security, compliance, and control features.
The Skype network currently has over 300 million users. With the ability to now connect with any of them directly from within Office, Microsoft’s move is definitely an attempt to bridge the gap between work and home use. The longtime commander of industry has, in recent years, paid much closer attention to mobile and social apps in an attempt to grow their market share.
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