The Lync product is used in many Fortune 500 companies, and is the fundamental IM and conversation product with business users. But, Microsoft is renaming it Skype for Business, and it is just around the corner with a April 14th release. Microsoft on Wednesday talked about it some more.
Microsoft has decided to transform the Lync product and merge it with the highly successful Skype product, thus naming it Skype for Business. It will be available initially to business and enterprise customers via an update starting April 14th, and will replace Lync’s user experience for clients, leaving Lync UI for the enterprise folks.
How Skype for Business Will Roll Out
In their blog post on Wednesday, Microsoft detailed how Skype for Business will be rolled out to business users. Starting April 14th, the Office monthly updates will feature the Skype for Business update. With Office 365ProPlus, Office 365 Business Premium and Office 2013, the updated Skype for Business client will be included.
Users will have different experiences, depending on whether they are using Lync Online or Lync Server. Lync Online users will see it quicker than the others. Administrators though via PowerShell can update policy and download settings to allow when the new experience is set for users, and that will help migrate users to the new Skype for Business product.
Controlling the UI In Lync Online or Lync Server
Microsoft detailed ways that users and admins can control the UI in Lync Online and Lync Server for Skype for Business and Skype for Business Server. With Lync Online, users can use Grant-CsClientPolicy Cmdlet, disable Skype user interface for users, , and then choose whether they want to grant the Skype UI for all users or not.
With Lync Server and Skype for Business Server, admins will need to use the Set-CsClientPolicy Cdmlet, then enable Skype UI for all users, set the CsClientPolicy, then choose if they want to disable or enable the Skype user interface for users. Either way, Skype for Business will be interesting and challenging to roll out for the business world.
Skype for Business starts rolling out in a few weeks. Administrators of IT departments will have decisions to make, and whether they give Skype for Business out right away will be up to them.