Microsoft announced that the next version of Lync will actually be Skype for Business, which the company says brings together "the familiar experience and user love of Skype with the enterprise security, compliance, and control from Lync to create the most loved and trusted communications platform for doing things together."
Skype for Business will come with a new client experience, new server release, and updates to the service in Office 365.
"We believe that Skype for Business will again transform the way people communicate by giving organizations reach to hundreds of millions of Skype users outside the walls of their business," Microsoft says. "We’re really excited about how Skype for Business takes advantage of the strengths of both Skype and Lync. For example, as you can see in the screenshots, we’re adopting the familiar Skype icons for calling, adding video and ending a call. We’ve added the call monitor from Skype, which keeps an active call visible in a small window even when a user moves focus to another application."
"At the same time, Skype for Business keeps and improves on all of the capabilities of Lync, including content sharing and telephony," it adds. "For example, transferring a call now takes only one touch or click instead of three."
While Lync already gives users instant messaging and Skype audio calling, the new offering will add video calling and the Skype user directory, so you can call any Skype user from any device.
Lync Server customers will be able to get the new stuff by updating from Lync Server 2013 to the new Skype for Business Server. Microsoft will automatically update Office 365.
The transition will take place in the first half of 2015.
Image via Microsoft