Microsoft has announced that it is rebranding its Lync communications tool as Skype for Business in ‘the first half of 2015.’
This change should come as no surprise as Microsoft has consistently been evolving Lync over the past few years, since the acquisition in October 2011. Lync and Skype currently have cross-application functionality allowing instant messaging, audio and video calls. This latest update will bring the two application even closer.
The integration will take the best from both current applications. Skype for Business will take many of its user experience elements from Skype. Microsoft will be using the Skype icons for calling, adding video and enabling a call. These are icons most users will be familiar with. Microsoft will also be adding the ‘call monitor’ window that allows users to keep an active call visible inside a small window while focusing on another application.
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 only takes one touch or click instead of three.
Microsoft officials stress that Skype for Business will run on the Lync backbone and not the Skype backbone.
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