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Microsoft is killing off Skype for business

The platform goes end of life as the company pushes users towards Teams

Skype for business icon

Microsoft is calling time on Skype for Business Online's as the company tries to promote the adoption of Microsoft Teams.

Support for the collaboration platform will be terminated on 31 July 2021, just 10 years after it was acquired by the Redmond giant. Every new Microsoft 365 customer will be onboarded to Microsoft Teams by default from 1 Septemeber 2019, with no option to select Skype for Business Online instead.

Microsoft said that current Skype for Business Online customers won't experience any change in service and will be able to add new users as needed until the termination date.

"Over the last two years, we've worked closely with customers to refine Teams, and we now feel we're at the point that we can confidently recommend it as an upgrade to all Skype for Business Online customers," said James Skay, senior product marketing manager at Microsoft.

"Teams isn't just an upgrade for Skype for Business Online, it's a powerful tool that opens the door to an entirely new way of doing business," he added.

Microsoft has listed a range of product investments it will be making to ensure an easy migration to Teams for businesses that are firmly settled with Skype for Business Online.

One of these will be the upcoming interoperability between Skype for Business Online and Microsoft Teams, coming in the first quarter of 2020. The update will allow customers on both platforms to communicate via calls and text chats.

Other feature requests from Skype for Business Online users will also be honoured in future Teams updates, such as DynamicE911 which forwards detailed location data when making an emergency phone call directly from the platform. Shorter data retention periods will also be in Teams by the end of 2019, so data that shouldn't remain on the service will be wiped when the user needs it to be.

Contact centre integration and compliance recording solutions are also in Teams already. First announced at Microsoft's Inspire event earlier this month, recording software used by businesses for regulatory compliance, liability protection and quality assurance is now supported in Teams with more partnerships in the pipeline.

Teams has so far been a very successful product for Microsoft. Earlier this month, the company announced that it has more active users than its main rival Slack, just two years after launching the platform.

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