Microsoft Teams subsumes Skype's voice and video features

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Microsoft is ushering Teams, its collaboration tool, into the spotlight as the focal point of Office 365 communications, at the expense of Skype for Business.

Redmond's Slack competitor already offers chat-like messaging to Office 365 users, but at its Ignite conference in Orlando, Microsoft yesterday said Teams would subsume Skype for Business's voice and video capabilities, too.

Teams is less than a year old, and only came to Office 365 in March when it was generally released, but while Microsoft is planning an on-premise server release for Skype for Business in the second half of 2018, its role as Microsoft's go-to communication service is coming to an end.

"We're announcing a new vision for intelligent communications to transform calling and meeting experiences by bringing comprehensive voice and video capabilities into Teams, along with cognitive and data services, and insights from the Microsoft Graph," said Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate VP for the Office team in a blog post.

"As a result, Teams will evolve as the primary client for intelligent communications in Office 365, replacing the current Skype for Business client over time."

Teams is already used by around 125,000 organisations every month, according to Microsoft, which bundled it into Office 365 as a free feature.

Microsoft also took the opportunity at Ignite to reveal new 'intelligent search' capabilities for Microsoft 365 - its package of Office 365, Windows 10 and enterprise security features.

This will see it use AI and machine learning deliver more relevant search results, using 'Bing for business private view' to offer more personalised search results gathered from inside and outside a company.

It will also get stronger ATP features, like better anti-phishing software and protection for SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business and Microsoft Teams.

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