Sep 25 2017

Microsoft to Phase out Skype for Business in Favor of Teams

With the shift, Microsoft signals that its group messaging platform, Teams, will be its main enterprise communications service.

Microsoft on Monday announced at its Ignite 2017 conference in Orlando, Fla.,  that its Teams workplace collaboration tool will become its primary platform for enterprise collaboration and communication service, as it gradually shifts away from Skype for Business

Lori Wright, the general manager of Microsoft Teams and Skype, explains in a company blog post that Teams will be “core” to the company's vision for intelligent communications. Teams, which Microsoft only rolled out in March, is now being used by over 125,000 organizations across the world, Wright says. 

Microsoft will bring “comprehensive calling and meetings capabilities”  into Teams, Wright says, “along with data and insights from the Microsoft Graph, and a strong roadmap of innovation to empower teams to achieve more.”  The updates to Teams are being built on a new, modern cloud-based Skype infrastructure for enterprise-grade voice and video communications, she says.

Teams will “ evolve as the primary client for intelligent communications in Office 365, replacing the current Skype for Business client over time,” Wright says. 

Microsoft will release an updated roadmap for Teams in October, but there won't be any radical changes coming soon.

The software giant plans to continue to offer and support Skype for Business in Office 365 and Skype for Business Server on-premises, Wright says. “For customers who are not yet ready to move their PBX and advanced calling capabilities to the cloud, we will release a new version of Skype for Business Server targeted for the second half of calendar year 2018,” she says. “Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business clients can be run side by side to evaluate and explore what’s best for your organization.”

As The Verge notes, this move could put pressure on Slack, a key competitor to Teams. 

For more coverage of Ignite, stay tuned to BizTech's conference coverage throughout the week. 



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