Skype for Business or Lync with a Facelift? And how does IE WebRTC fit in?

lync as skype

Two days ago, Microsoft announced that “Skype for Business” will roll out in 2015. In addition to having retired Messenger, Skype will be doing the same to Lync, Microsoft Office’s longstanding answer to business videoconferencing and collaboration.  However, within the announcement were the following three sentences:

“…we’re adopting the familiar Skype icons for calling, adding video and ending a call. We’ve added the call monitor from Skype, which keeps an active call visible in a small window even when a user moves focus to another application.

“At the same time, Skype for Business keeps and improves on all of the capabilities of Lync, including content sharing and telephony.”

It appears that Lync isn’t being retired so much as being overlaid with Skype’s GUI and being rebranded. I was tempted to argue whether or not this really counted as being “Skype”, but then realized that a large part of what makes Skype Skype actually IS that interface.

Something like this was expected, of course, ever since Microsoft acquired Skype.  It’s a smart move:  Skype, despite its immense popularity in the private world, was unable to transfer that popularity into the business world due to security concerns and Read more