The news accidentally leaked earlier this month but today at Ignite, Microsoft is making it official, Skype for Business is going away in favor of Teams. But, if you are still using Skype for Business and have no intentions of switching yet, there is some good new for you as well.
Microsoft is moving to make Teams the core communication client in Office 365 with the full intent that it will replace Skype for Business. To make this possible, Teams will be upgraded with new calling and meeting features including inbound and outbound calls to PSTN numbers, hold, call transfer and voicemail; audio conferencing will also be coming in preview.
This change is likely going to make quite a few nervous who have invested heavily into Skype for Business. For those users, Microsoft is not abandoning them (yet) as there will be a new version of Skype for Business Server out in the second half of 2018.
But, knowing that Microsoft is moving its preferred communication tool to be nested inside of Teams, you can expect that new features will arrive for that platform first going forward. Because of this, while you do not have to move your infrastructure to the Teams-based model today, you should start thinking about how you may do this one day as eventually, Skype for Business will go away.
This is a big change for Microsoft as it means the end of the Skype of Business brand. As for why they are doing this? Teams has been well received so far and the Skype brand has a lot of a baggage attached to it; I’m still surprised that they rebranded Lync to Skype.
The winding down of Skype for Business will take many years with a new version of Server coming out next year but expect to see Microsoft continue to heavily push Teams for all aspects of communication going forward.