Microsoft confirmed it would be rebranding its business communications solution Lync to Skype for Business in November last year. And now the company says Skype for Business will replace Lync as its business communications suite, with a formal announced scheduled for March 18.
In a blog post last year, the company said, “In the first half of 2015, the next version of Lync will become Skype for Business with a new client experience, new server release, and updates to the service in Office 365.”
The rebranding comes after Microsoft acquired Skype for $8.5 billion in 2011. Microsoft has maintained two lines of instant messaging and video conferencing software, with Skype used by consumers and Lync used by business customers, with Lync pitched as an inside-the-perimeter communications platform that also handles VoIP services.
Skype for Business will incorporate features from both Skype and Lync, adopting the familiar Skype icons for calling, adding video and ending a call, while building on all of the capabilities of Lync, including content sharing and telephony.
Microsoft posted a video on Facebook featuring Zig Serafin, corporate vice resident for Skype Business Services, inviting those interested to watch a keynote where Microsoft will formally unveil Skype for Business.
“Microsoft is already a market leader in communications,” says Gurdeep Pall, corporate vice president for Skype in the original blog post. “I’m confident that no other company in the world can connect people like Microsoft can.”
He adds, “Stay tuned for more updates on Skype for Business and how we reimagine the technologies people use to communicate.”