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Microsoft Convergence 2015 – Microsoft Releases Skype For Business To The Public

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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New business-focused edition of Skype replaces Microsoft Lync

Microsoft has opened up the next generation of Skype at its Microsoft Convergence 2015 event in Atlanta today, unveiling a new business-orientated iteration of its instant messaging service featuring a new interface and integrated video calling.

Formerly known as Microsoft Lync, Skype for Business, the new service combines the traditional Skype interface with updated tools which Microsoft hopes will enable users to

“Delivering technology that helps people connect—to discuss, share and collaborate—is central to Microsoft’s mission to reinvent productivity,” Giovanni Mezgec, general manager for the Skype for Business team, wrote in a blog post announcing the news.

Skype-for-BusinessConnected

First announced last November, Skype for Business has been eagerly-awaited by many sectors, with Microsoft using its opening keynote at Convergence to show off how the service would benefit a busy salesperson. Users will also be able to connect to anyone in the Skype network, with company spokesperson Julia White using the new service to quickly and easily connect with contacts, sending documents and interacting using everyone’s favourite emojis.

Microsoft also announced that the new Skype for Business client, server and service within Office 365 will be available from next month.

Microsoft originally acquired Skype for $8.5 billion (£5.1 billion) in 2011 as it looked to gain a hold of the lucrative instant messaging market. Since then, Microsoft has been working non-stop on integrating the pioneering voice-over-IP (VoIP) and video communications tech into practically every part of the company’s sweeping technology portfolio, with Skype ultimately replaced the existing MSN Messenger service in April 2013.

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