Earlier this year, Microsoft announced that its Lync business-oriented messaging software would be rebranded to Skype for Business, and today the company is beginning to roll out the newly named services to its customers worldwide. Skype for Business will arrive as part of an April update to Office 2013 users, and then roll out to Office 365 users, with that transition expected to be completed by the end of May.
Skype for Business offers business customers a full service communications service, as explained in a blog post FAQ:
Skype for Business (formerly Microsoft Lync) is a communications and collaboration platform that brings together an experience inspired by Skype with enterprise-grade security, compliance and control. It offers features including presence, IM, voice and video calls, and online meetings. It is built right in to Microsoft Office, so initiating chats, calls and meetings is an integrated experience within Office.
Skype for Business will soon be built right in to Office 2013, and offers some advantages to the former Lync service, including being able to communicate outside the organization, to anyone in the Skype network. Previously, Lync users were only able to communicate within their organization's Lync setup. Last month, Microsoft provided a quick overview of the capabilities of Skype for Business:
For businesses that are currently using Lync, and administering the service using Lync Online or Lync Server, Microsoft is providing an ability to phase in the new Skype-branded service. Administrators can retain their Lync capabilities for a time, and manage the transition on their own.