Microsoft announces Skype for Business; replaces Lync as unified communications platform

The Redmond-based giant has announced that the new Skype for business client is now rolling out as part of the April monthly update for Office 2013

If you currently use Lync Online in Office 365, a new Skype for Business user experience will appear for you in the coming weeks. For customers that need a little more time to prepare for Skype for Business, Microsoft has have provided the ability for administrators to switch between Skype for Business and the traditional Lync user interface.

Microsoft will automatically update the Lync Online service to be Skype for Business Online, and all customers are expected to be transitioned by the end of May.

Skype for Business is built right into Office, so features like presence, IM, voice and video calls, and online meetings are an integrated part of the Office experience.

Skype for Business (formerly Microsoft Lync) is a communications and collaboration platform that brings together an experience inspired by Skype with enterprise-grade security, compliance and control. It offers features including presence, IM, voice and video calls, and online meetings. It is built right in to Microsoft Office, so initiating chats, calls and meetings is an integrated experience within Office.

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