Microsoft announced today that it will connect the Skype back-end to its Lync business-oriented IM client. This is good news. Though I’m no fan of Skype, the Skype back-end services for audio and video chat are hugely popular and important. And making them available to Microsoft’s best communications client makes plenty of sense.
I have a separate and lengthier editorial about this topic that will be published later today on Windows IT Pro. But the high-level view is this:
Skype audio chat and IM: Heading to Lync 2013 by the end of Microsoft’s current fiscal year, or by the end of June 2013.
Skype video chat: Heading to Lync 2013 by the end of Microsoft’s next fiscal year, or by the end of June 2014.
Lync 2013 mobile apps:, iPhone and iPad by the end of April, Android handsets and tablets by the end of May.
Lync is part of Skype. Lync used to be part of Office. I hope this move doesn’t destroy Lync, but Microsoft pledges to keep the products separate with Skype its consumer communications brand and Lync its business-oriented communications brand.
Lync Online: Will be updated quarterly going forward.
Lync Server: Will be updated in one year to a new product version with new features.
I’ll have more later in that editorial.
Update: 2013 Promises To Be a Big Year for Lync is now available too.