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November 12, 2014

Microsoft Lync to become Skype for Business

Redmond announces rebrand for unified communications service.

By Joe Curtis

Microsoft is set to rebrand Lync as Skype for Business in the first half of next year.

Redmond will ditch the Lync name when it releases a new version of its unified communications product, Skype for Business, boasting a new client experience, new server release and updates to the service within Office 365.

Gurdeep Pall, corporate vice president for Skype, revealed the change in a blog post yesterday.

He said the rebranded service would combine Skype and Lync strengths, adopting the Skype icons for calling, adding video and ending a call, as well as including a Skype feature that keeps your call in a small window to allow you to use other applications.

Pall added: "At the same time, Skype for Business keeps and improves on all of the capabilities of Lync, including content sharing and telephony. For example, transferring a call now takes only one touch or click instead of three.

"We’re also making it easier to connect to people everywhere. Lync already offers instant messaging and audio calling with Skype users. Skype for Business adds video calling and the Skype user directory making it possible to call any Skype user on any device."

Lync Server customers will be able to access the new version by updating from Lync Server 2013 in their data centres to Skype for Business Server, and Office 365 will simply get the update pushed out to them by Microsoft.

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