Back in November, Microsoft announced that Lync would become Skype for Business, and that it would come with a new client experience, new server release, and updates in Office 365. While Lync already gave users instant messaging and Skype audio calling, the new offering would add video calling and the Skype user directory, so you can call any Skype user from any device. Microsoft is now talking about the next steps in the transition.
Earlier this week, the company unveiled a technical preview of the Skype for Business client, so businesses can start trying it out and preparing for potential deployment. The Skype for Business client, Skype for Business Server, and the new service in Office 365 will all start rolling out next month. Here’s a look at Microsoft’s “vision for the future” of Skype for Business:
The company also announced Skype Room Systems, which utilises a series of devices Microsoft has partnered with Polycom for. The two companies announced an expanded relationship, which will see Polycom solutions built for Skype for Business. These come under the banner “Polycom Roundtable”. The first device is the RoundTable 100.
You can find more about the partnership and additional solutions on the horizon here.
“With Skype Room Systems, you can bring your meeting rooms into the digital world, helping your ideas move fluidly and letting remote participants feel engaged in the conversation,” Microsoft says. “Our solutions are designed for doing great things together, all within a consistent Skype experience.”
Microsoft also has a new large-screen device called Surface Hub, which is designed specifically for Skype for Business.
According to Microsoft, 79% of enterprises in the U.S. are currently using or planning to deploy Lync for telephony, and Skype sees 50 billion minutes of traffic per month. Over 50% of Skype users are using video.