Goodbye Skype for Business, Hello Microsoft Teams
Why SfB is being demoted to a mere "Teams" feature
Is the cat out of the bag for Microsoft?
An apparently accidental update on the Microsoft Tech Community last week seemed to imply that the brand could be ditching the much-loved Skype for Business solution, and simply infusing it with Microsoft Teams instead.
An announcement like this might not be too much of a surprise to our readers. After all, several experts have already begun to speculate that Microsoft will be making the transition into Teams soon, to create a more converged collaboration suite.
The unintentional reveal took place on a discussion thread, where an Outlook message was posted stating “Skype for Business is now Microsoft Teams!“. Long-time reporter Mary Jo Foley reported on the news, which was quickly removed from the forums not long after its appearance.
An “Accidental” Reveal?
Although original reports suggested that the initial post was a mistake, there was also some brief commentary on the Microsoft 365 Message Centre too, suggesting that there’s a good chance there may be some truth to the story. As of now, it’s hard to determine whether Microsoft was officially confirming the new transformation, or whether someone at the company accidentally leaked the idea just a little bit too early.
The good news is that it doesn’t seem as though we’ll be left to speculate for long. Recent Community posts have suggested that “exciting news” will be announced at the Microsoft keynote speech taking place this week. Since the talk itself is centred around Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams, it seems likely that we’ll hear more about the update here.
Of course, there’s always a chance that no such consolidation will take place – at least for now. Perhaps we’ll just see some more integrated abilities that allow customers to enjoy more parity between the two options, or the announcement could be something else altogether. We can only wait and see.
Bridging the Gap Between Skype and Teams
It’s easy to see why a connection between the Teams collaboration suite and Skype would be a natural progression for Microsoft. At present, Skype for Business Online acts as a separate element of the Office 365 Unified Communications experience, enabling presence, video, voice, and messaging. While Teams does come with a few of its own Skype for Business Online abilities, it’s more of a feature intended to support peer-to-peer instant messaging, than a complete tool for conferencing.
Saying that, back in the early days of Teams, Microsoft described the solution as something that would include “video on Android”, and audio calling from mobile devices. At the same time, the current Teams FAQ outlines the suite as the ultimate hub for calls, meetings, and messages.
It seems pretty clear that Microsoft wants to add more Skype for Business accessibility to Teams than the basic messaging features. Check back on UC Today following the update for more news about what to expect from your Microsoft UC experience.