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Skype for Business: Yes, No or Maybe So?

Microsoft moves to claim the business communication market share by merging conferencing and collaboration platforms Skype and Lync.

Daniel Newman

Microsoft has taken another step toward connecting people around the world by initiating the procedures to merge Skype with Lync to create a platform to “talk, to share, to collaborate.”

This time the focus is on its business customers. The marketing hype around this is that Skype for Business aims at bringing together the “familiar experience and user love of Skype with the enterprise security, compliance, and control from Lync,” according to Gurdeep Pall, Corporate Vice President, Skype.

Skype and Lync Merged – Benefits to be Considered by Businesses

Skype and Lync were initially developed with separate groups of customers in mind. While Skype was meant for general communication with friends and family located anywhere in the world through messaging, calling, and sharing; Lync, once called Microsoft Office Communicator, aimed itself at business customers, and is more suited for corporate environments.

Skype claims some 300 million users and there’s no doubt that the platform revolutionized communication from the moment it touched the virtual space around a decade ago. But is it the right choice for every business? That’s an important question. Let’s take a look.

RELATED: Whitlock Taps Microsoft Lync for Voice, Video, Data

Lync comes with features like secure network connectivity, smooth network adaptability, compatibility with a range of applications like Windows PCs, Windows Phone, iOS, Mac, and Android smartphones.

Furthermore, Lync makes it possible to make voice and video calls at the same time. Lync Meetings, or instant messaging, goes together with the entire Lync communication experience.

RELATED: Google Hangouts Expanded to Reach Corporate Market

Perhaps the most important benefit of Lync is it’s easy to switch communication modes. A high quality video conferencing capability, along with multi-user meeting participants (supporting up to 5 members) makes business communication easier.

With just one touch, you can be a part of a Lync Meeting.

Skype for Business: Lync Rebranded?

Skype for Business is a smart move by Microsoft. Instead of developing and launching a whole new application with similar features, they married Skype, which users like and are familiar with, with the business-focused Lync, and came up with Skype for Business.

Old wine in a new bottle? Maybe. It definitely seems like a smarter move than the one which prompted users to desert Windows Live Messenger and warm to Skype.

This time Microsoft is taking fewer chances. Recognizing the flaws in both applications and claiming to integrate the best of both, which should be ready for use by the first half of 2015.

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