Q:  What is Skype for Business?

A:  Skype for Business (formerly Microsoft Lync) is a communications and collaboration platform that brings together an experience inspired by Skype with enterprise-grade security, compliance and control. It offers features including presence, IM, voice and video calls, and online meetings. It is built right in to Microsoft Office, so initiating chats, calls and meetings is an integrated experience within Office. To see the new UI click here

Q:  What are the new features?

A:  Skype for businesses offers a few new features to customers:

  • New Skype look and feel
  • Federation between Skype (consumer) and Skype for Business
  • File transfer preview

Q:  What is going to be available mid-April?

A: The Skype for Business desktop client for Windows will be available; however Lync users will be prompted to use the original Lync client until we've updated our Lync servers to support the Skype for Business client. Our system administrators are evaluating the updates and further communication will be provided when it becomes available. Additionally, the full suite of features will be available once the Skype server software is released.  

Q: Will the new Skype for Business client work with Lync 2013?

A: Yes. When we make the Skype for Business client available it will work on Lync Server 2010 and Lync Server 2013. If the client is used with Lync Server 2010, only features supported by Lync Server 2010 will be supported.

Q:  Do Lync customers have to upgrade to the Skype for Business client?

A:  No, it is optional at this time.  However, in the future we do expect Microsoft to migrate all users to the new client.  If customers do not install the update, they will still be using the Lync client.     

Q:  How do they upgrade to the new client?

A: Skype for Business client will be available as a part of a monthly Office update. Users will be able to access it by checking for updates in their installed Lync client.

Q: Can an administrator control the updates?

A: Yes. As any other Office updates for Windows, this update can be controlled via group policy.     

 

Skype UI