Official: Microsoft will take an axe to Skype for Business Online. Teams is your new normal

Skype for Business Online, equally loved and detested, has an appointment with the Grim Reaper when Microsoft prepares to end the poor old thing.

Published on the blog page for the Microsoft Teams product, the announcement offers users plenty of time to prepare for their final farewells. The lights will go out on July 31, 2021, within two years.

The version for Skype consumers is not affected and there are no public plans to shut down Skype for Business Server because, let's face it, there is no local version of Teams at this time.

To be fair to the Windows giant, the writing had been on the wall for a while. Teams was introduced in 2017 and ate quickly through Skype's breakfast as chat, video calls and cloud collaboration were added. Last year, the company stated that the two had reached characteristic parity, despite a mocking snort or two of the customers, and therefore it was only a matter of time before, Highlander -style, there could be only one.

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As decapitation approaches, administrators will be able to continue adding new users as needed, although Teams will be the value default from now on: Microsoft added that as of September 1 (within a month) all new Office 365 customers will be directly incorporated into Teams.

The company added breathlessly that Teams is a "completely new way of doing business," presumably only for customers who have never encountered Slack or its kind of occasional wobbly.

Microsoft plans to make Teams more palatable for Skype for Business Online users by adding shorter retention periods to remove channels and chat data from Teams storage (scheduled for late 2019), Team Interoperability and Skype consumers in the first quarter of 2020, and recording contact centers and compliance.

We can almost hear the small army of consultants snapping their lips with joy when companies face the challenges and possible costs of migration.

It has been a long road to the inevitable meeting with the executioner of Microsoft. The service began its life as Office Communicator in 2007 before being replaced by Lync 2010. Lync was trampled by Skype for Business in 2015 and now here we are. Redmondian cloudy message features and platforms of the past.

Donations instead of flowers. ®

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