Skype for Business

Skype for Business is an instant messaging (IM) enterprise software used with Skype for Business Server or with Skype for Business Online (available with Microsoft Office 365).[1]

On 11 November 2014, Microsoft announced that Skype for Business would replace Microsoft Lync in 2015. The latest version of the communication software combines features of Lync and of the consumer software Skype.[2] There are two user interfaces – organizations can switch their users from the default Skype for Business interface to the Skype for Business (Lync) interface.[3]

In September 2017, Microsoft announced plans that Microsoft Teams would replace Skype for Business in the future.[4] On May 20, 2018, Microsoft retired Skype for Business on Windows Phone.[5]

Skype for Business 2016
Skype for Business
Skype for Business
Developer(s)Microsoft Corporation
Stable release
16.0.4795.1000 / 2 January 2019
Operating systemWindows, Windows Mobile, macOS, Android and iOS
TypeAudio, Video, Instant Messaging


Microsoft released Office Communicator 2007 to production on 28 July 2007 and launched it on 27 October 2007.[6] It was followed by Office Communicator 2007 R2, released on 19 March 2009.[7] Microsoft released the successor to Office Communicator, Lync 2010, on 25 January 2011.[8] The full-featured desktop version of the client requires Windows 7, Windows Vista or Windows XP with Service Pack 2 or newer.[9] Lync 2010 was released for the Windows Phone, Android, and iOS platforms in December 2011.[10] Lync 2010 was succeeded by Lync and Lync Server 2013, which were released in 2012.

On 11 November 2014, Microsoft announced that Lync would be replaced by Skype for Business in 2015, which would combine features of Lync and the consumer Skype software.[2] In April 2015, Microsoft officially launched Skype for Business.[11] On 22 September 2015, Skype for Business 2016 was released alongside Office 2016. On 27 October 2016, the Skype for Business for Mac client was released.[12]

On 7 September 2017, users began noticing a message that stated "Skype for Business is now Microsoft Teams".[13] This was confirmed on 25 September 2017, at Microsoft's annual Ignite conference.[4]


  • Skype for Business 2019
  • Skype for Business 2016
  • Skype for Business 2015
  • Lync 2013
  • Lync 2010
  • OCS 2007 R2
  • OCS 2007
  • LCS 2005 (Windows Messenger 5.1 and Microsoft Office Communicator 2005)[14]
  • LCS 2003 (Windows Messenger 5.0)[15]
  • Exchange Instant Messaging


The Basic features of Skype for Business include:

Advanced features relate to integration with other Microsoft software:

  • Availability of contacts based on Microsoft Outlook contacts stored in a Microsoft Exchange Server
  • Users can retrieve contact lists from a local directory service such as Microsoft Exchange Server
  • Microsoft Office can show if other people are working on the same document[16]
  • All communication between the clients takes place through a Skype for Business Server. This makes communications more secure, as messages do not need to leave the corporate intranet, unlike with the Internet-based Windows Live Messenger. The server can be set to relay messages to other instant messaging networks, avoiding installation of extra software at the client side.
  • A number of client types are available for Microsoft Lync, including mobile clients.
  • Uses SIP as the basis for its client communication protocol[17]
  • Offers support for TLS and SRTP to encrypt and secure signaling and media traffic
  • Allows sharing files

Note: With the release of Lync Server 2013 in October 2012, a new collaboration feature "Persistent Group Chat" which allows multi-party chat with preservation of content between chat sessions was introduced. However, only the native Windows OS client and no other platform supports this feature at this time.[18] The main new features of this version are the addition of real-time multi-client collaborative software capabilities, (which allow teams of people to see and simultaneously work on the same documents and communications session). Lync implements these features as follows:

  • Collaboration through Whiteboard documents, where the participants have freedom to share text, drawing and graphical annotations.
  • Collaboration through PowerPoint documents, where the participants can control and see presentations, as well as allow everybody to add text, drawing and graphical annotations.
  • Polling lists, where Presenters can organize polls and all participants can vote and see results.
  • Desktop sharing, usually by allowing participants to see and collaborate on a Windows screen
  • Windows applications sharing, by allowing participants to see and collaborate on a specific application.

All collaboration sessions get automatically defined as conferences, where clients can invite more contacts. Conference initiators (usually called "organizers") can either promote participants to act as presenters or demote them to act as attendees. They can also define some basic policies about what presenters and attendees can see and do. Deeper details of policy permissions are defined at server level.

Following Microsoft's acquisition of Skype in May 2011, the Lync and Skype platforms could be connected, but sometimes only after lengthy provisioning time.[19]


Lync uses a number of extensions to the SIP/SIMPLE instant-messaging protocol for some features. As with most instant-messaging platforms, non-Microsoft instant-messaging clients[20] that have not implemented these publicly available extensions[17] may not work correctly or have complete functionality. Lync supports federated presence and IM to other popular instant message services such as AOL, Yahoo, MSN, and any service using the XMPP protocol. Text instant-messaging in a web browser is available via Lync integration within Exchange Outlook Web App.

Although other IM protocols such as AIM and Yahoo! do have wider support by third-party clients, these protocols have been largely reverse-engineered by outside developers. Microsoft does offer details of its extensions on MSDN and provides an API kit to help developers build platforms that can interoperate with Lync Server and clients.[21]


As of May 2018, the following Skype for Business clients are available:

  • Windows (Pro and Enterprise only), and macOS: Included with Office 365[22]
  • Linux by TEL.RED[23]
  • iOS: Microsoft app in iTunes app store;[24] alternative client by TEL.RED[25]
  • Android: Microsoft app in Google Play;[26] alternative client by TEL.RED[27]
  • Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile apps were retired by Microsoft in May 2018.[28][5]

See also

Similar discontinued Microsoft products


  1. ^ "Skype for Business Online". Microsoft. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
  2. ^ a b Pall, Gurdeep (11 November 2014). "Introducing Skype for Business". Office Blogs. Microsoft. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  3. ^ "Switching between the Skype for Business and the Lync client user interfaces". Microsoft. Retrieved 3 September 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Microsoft Teams is replacing Skype for Business to put more pressure on Slack". The Verge. Retrieved 26 September 2017.
  5. ^ a b Microsoft retiring Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams, and Yammer for Windows phone
  6. ^ "Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 Releases to Manufacturing". Lync Team Blog. Microsoft Corporation. 28 July 2007.
  7. ^ "Microsoft Communicator 2007 Life-cycle Info". Retrieved 25 October 2011.
  8. ^ "Microsoft Lync 2010 Life-cycle Information". Retrieved 25 October 2011.
  9. ^ "Download details: Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 R2 Trial Download". Microsoft Download Center. Microsoft Corporation. Retrieved 9 December 2010.
  10. ^ "Microsoft Lync 2010 released for iOS platform". 20 December 2011.
  11. ^ Hernandez, Pedro (14 April 2015). "Microsoft Launches Skype for Business". eWeek.
  12. ^ Skype for Business Team (27 October 2016). "Skype for Business announces new Mac client and new mobile sharing experiences".
  13. ^ Foley, Mary Jo. "Microsoft may be repositioning some (or all) of Skype for Business as Teams | ZDNet". ZDNet. Retrieved 26 September 2017.
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 product overview". Microsoft Office. Microsoft. Archived from the original on 19 October 2007. Retrieved 10 October 2007.
  17. ^ a b "Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 Protocol Documents". MSDN. Microsoft. Retrieved 15 August 2008.
  18. ^ "Client comparison tables for Lync Server 2013". Microsoft TechNet.
  19. ^
  20. ^ "Pidgin project trouble ticket describing problems with Microsoft's SIP/Simple Implementation". Pidgin. Retrieved 15 May 2008.
  21. ^ "Lync 2010 API Concepts".
  22. ^ "Install Skype for Business". Office support. Microsoft. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
  23. ^ "Lync for Linux". TEL.RED. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
  24. ^ "Skype for Business (formerly Lync 2013)". iTunes Store. Apple Inc. Retrieved 22 November 2015.
  25. ^ "Sky - for Lync and Skype for Business". iTunes Store. Apple Inc. Retrieved 17 April 2016.
  26. ^ "Skype for Business for Android". Google Play. Google. Retrieved 31 December 2015.
  27. ^ "Sky: Lync & Skype for Business". Google Play. Google. Retrieved 17 April 2016.
  28. ^ "Install Skype for Business on a mobile device - Windows Phone". Office Support. Microsoft. Effective May 20, 2018, the Windows Phone app for Skype for Business will be retired and will no longer be available for download from the Windows Phone Store.

External links


AudioCodes Ltd. is a vendor of advanced voice networking and media processing solutions for the digital workplace. The company designs, develops and sells products, solutions and services to enable enterprises and service providers to build and operate all-IP voice networks for unified communications (UC), contact centers and hosted business services.

AudioCodes' international headquarters and R&D facilities are located in Israel, with branch offices in the United States, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Italy, UK, Poland, South Africa, Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Peru and Mexico.


GroupMe is a mobile group messaging app owned by Microsoft. It was launched in May 2010 by the private company GroupMe. In August 2011, GroupMe delivered over 100 million messages each month and by June 2012, that number jumped to 550 million. In 2013, GroupMe had over 12 million registered users.

History of Microsoft Office

This is a history of Microsoft Office and its versions. This table only includes final releases and not pre-release software such as Microsoft Office 2000.

List of Microsoft Office programs

Microsoft Office is a set of interrelated desktop applications, servers and services, collectively referred to as an office suite, for the Microsoft Windows and macOS operating systems.

This list contains all the programs that are, or have been, in Microsoft Office since it began.

List of Microsoft software

Microsoft Corporation is a leading developer of PC software. It is best known for its Windows operating system, the Microsoft Office family of productivity software plus services, and the Visual Studio IDE. The company also publishes books (through Microsoft Press) and video games (through Microsoft Studios), and produces its own line of hardware. The following is a list of the notable Microsoft software applications.

Microsoft Office Live Meeting

Microsoft Office Live Meeting is a discontinued commercial subscription-based web conferencing service operated by Microsoft. Live Meeting included software installed on client PCs and used a central server for all clients to connect to. Microsoft now produces Skype for Business which is an enterprise Unified Communications product, that can be rolled out either on-premises or in the cloud.

Microsoft Office mobile apps

Microsoft Office mobile apps are productivity mobile apps currently developed by Microsoft for Windows 10, Windows 10 Mobile, iOS, Android, and also works on Chrome OS. The core apps are Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. Other Office apps, including Sway, Skype for Business, and SharePoint Newsfeed are available for download from the mobile app store on supported devices and platforms. They are meant to be compatible with desktop versions of the office suite. The suite of apps is free of charge for consumers with devices smaller than 10.1 in (26 cm), but business customers need to purchase an Office 365 subscription to take full advantage of the suite on larger screens.Originally released as Pocket Office on Windows CE v1.0 Handheld PCs in 1996, they were ported to Windows Mobile and Symbian. Word, PowerPoint, and Excel were previously bundled under the Office Hub for Windows Phone free of charge, while OneNote for Windows Phone was a standalone application.

Microsoft Pulse

Microsoft Pulse (previously branded as Bing Pulse) is an audience response system from Microsoft. On June 30, 2017, the service was discontinued as a free public service. It is now only available as part of Skype for Business Skype Meeting Broadcast.

Note: the domain is unrelated to the Pulse service and provides news and information for Microsoft Benelux customers.

Bing Pulse is an audience engagement technology for live feedback from audiences of any size, during any event, on any web-enabled device, and on any browser. Bing Pulse gives viewers the ability to respond every five seconds, and as often as they want, to the content they're hearing and seeing. Pulse also gives users the opportunity to have their say in polls and see how others are responding in real time.

Bing Pulse was unveiled on February 12, 2013 during Fox's broadcast of the 2013 State of the Union. Since its inception, Bing Pulse has generated more than 35 million votes from participants across the US. Bing Pulse 2.0 was released in beta on December 3, 2014. Notable changes included a self-service option for users to purchase and use Bing Pulse through the product's website, and several product improvements, including sharper consumer graphics and experience; a responsive, multi-device design; and more flexibility in visualizations.

In December 2015 Microsoft announced that they would drop the Bing branding in favour of the general "Microsoft" brand and would integrate other Microsoft services such as OneNote, Skype, Skype for Business and Azure. Alongside the rebranding Microsoft announced that the service would be focused beyond merely real-time voting.

Microsoft RoundTable

Microsoft RoundTable was a videoconferencing device with a 360-degree camera that was designed to work with Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 or Microsoft Office Live Meeting. RoundTable provided remote meeting participants with panoramic video of everyone sitting around the conference table. In addition, RoundTable contained active speaker detection technology that provides high-resolution video of the active speaker in a meeting, and tracked the flow of conversation in real time, switching between different meeting participants as they speak.

RoundTable was a plug-and-play USB device that also functioned as a standard PSTN speakerphone.

Core technology used in RoundTable was invented and originally developed by Ross Cutler and other researchers at Microsoft Research. Ross Cutler and Senthil Velayutham founded the RoundTable product group as part of the Microsoft Greenhouse and led by GM Jeff Finan to commercialize the technology. The product launched in 2007. It used the Windows CE operating system on the main processor and other operating systems on the supporting DSP chipsets.

In 2009 the Roundtable device was licensed to Polycom and rebranded as the Polycom CX5000. The device has an identical feature set but is branded as a Polycom unit. Polycom has since launched two new products based upon the RoundTable design – the CX5100 and the CX5500, supporting 1080p resolution video. The CX5100 is a USB only device. The CX5500 operates like the CX5100 as a 360-degree camera when plugged in to a PC running the Skype for Business client, but also can make audio VoIP calls when not plugged in to a PC.

Microsoft Servers

Microsoft Servers (previously called Windows Server System) is a brand that encompasses Microsoft's server products. This includes the Windows Server editions of the Microsoft Windows operating system itself, as well as products targeted at the wider business market. Unlike Microsoft Dynamics or Microsoft Office product lines, most of the products sold under this brand are not intended to be line-of-business services in and of themselves.

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is a unified communications platform that combines persistent workplace chat, video meetings, file storage (including collaboration on files), and application integration. The service integrates with the company's Office 365 subscription office productivity suite and features extensions that can integrate with non-Microsoft products. Microsoft Teams is a competitor to services such as Slack and is the evolution and upgrade path from Microsoft Skype for Business.

Microsoft announced Teams at an event in New York, and launched the service worldwide on 14 March 2017. It was created, and is currently led, by Brian MacDonald, Corporate Vice President at Microsoft.

Microsoft mobile services

Microsoft Mobile Services are a set of proprietary mobile services created specifically for mobile devices, they are typically offered through mobile applications and mobile browser for Windows Phone, Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Nokia platforms, BREW, and Java ME. Microsoft's mobile services are typically connected with a Microsoft account and often come preinstalled on Microsoft's own mobile operating systems while they are offered via various means for other platforms. Microsoft started to develop for mobile computing platforms with the launch of Windows CE in 1996 and later added Microsoft's Pocket Office suite to their Handheld PC line of PDAs in April 2000. From December 2014 to June 2015, Microsoft made a number of corporate acquisitions, buying several of the top applications listed in Google Play and the App Store including Acompli, Sunrise Calendar, Datazen, Wunderlist, Echo Notification Lockscreen, and MileIQ.

NuWave Communications

NuWave Communications is an American privately held company, supplying cloud-based telephony, including unified communications (UcaaS] and collaboration services, to customers in the finance, healthcare, hospitality, government and small business sectors. The company is headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada with office locations in Los Angeles; Washington, DC; New Jersey and Gujarat, India.

NuWave operates as a competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) in 45 states and has operations in 58 countries.

Office 365

Office 365 is a line of subscription services offered by Microsoft as part of the Microsoft Office product line. The brand encompasses plans that allow use of the Microsoft Office software suite over the life of the subscription, as well as cloud-based software as a service products for business environments, such as hosted Exchange Server, Skype for Business Server, and SharePoint, among others. All Office 365 plans include automatic updates to their respective software at no additional charge, as opposed to conventional licenses for these programs—where new versions require purchase of a new license.

After a beta test that began in October 2010, Microsoft launched Office 365 on June 28, 2011, as a successor to Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS), originally aimed at corporate users. With the release of Microsoft Office 2013, Microsoft expanded Office 365 to include new plans aimed at different types of businesses, along with new plans aimed at general consumers, including benefits tailored towards Microsoft consumer services such as OneDrive (whose integration with Office was a major feature of the 2013 suite).In the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2017, Office 365 revenue overtook that of conventional license sales of Microsoft Office software for the first time.


Skype () is a telecommunications application that specializes in providing video chat and voice calls between computers, tablets, mobile devices, the Xbox One console, and smartwatches via the Internet. Skype also provides instant messaging services. Users may transmit text, video, audio and images. Skype allows video conference calls.

At the end of 2010, there were over 660 million worldwide users, with over 300 million estimated active each month as of August 2015. At one point in February 2012, there were 34 million users concurrently online on Skype.First released in August 2003, Skype was created by the Swede Niklas Zennström and the Dane Janus Friis, in cooperation with Ahti Heinla, Priit Kasesalu, and Jaan Tallinn, Estonians who developed the backend that was also used in the music-sharing application Kazaa. In September 2005, eBay acquired Skype for $2.6 billion. In September 2009, Silver Lake, Andreessen Horowitz, and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board announced the acquisition of 65% of Skype for $1.9 billion from eBay, which attributed to the enterprise a market value of $2.92 billion. Microsoft bought Skype in May 2011 for $8.5 billion. Skype division headquarters are in Luxembourg, but most of the development team and 44% of all the division's employees are still situated in Tallinn and Tartu, Estonia.Skype allows users to communicate over the Internet by voice, using a microphone, by video using a webcam, and by instant messaging. Skype implements a freemium business model. Skype-to-Skype calls are free of charge, while calls to landline telephones and mobile phones (over traditional telephone networks) are charged via a debit-based user account system called Skype Credit. Some network administrators have banned Skype on corporate, government, home, and education networks, citing such reasons as inappropriate usage of resources, excessive bandwidth usage and security concerns.Skype originally featured a hybrid peer-to-peer and client–server system. Skype has been powered entirely by Microsoft-operated supernodes since May 2012. The 2013 mass surveillance disclosures revealed that Microsoft had granted intelligence agencies unfettered access to supernodes and Skype communication content.Throughout 2016 and 2017, Microsoft redesigned its Skype clients in a way that transitioned Skype from peer-to-peer service to a centralized Azure service and adjusted the user interfaces of apps to make text-based messaging more prominent than voice calling. Skype for Windows, iOS, Android, Mac and Linux received significant, visible overhauls.

Skype for Business Server

Skype for Business Server (formerly Microsoft Office Communications Server and Microsoft Lync Server) is real-time communications server software that provides the infrastructure for enterprise instant messaging, presence, VoIP, ad hoc and structured conferences (audio, video and web conferencing) and PSTN connectivity through a third-party gateway or SIP trunk. These features are available within an organization, between organizations and with external users on the public internet or standard phones (on the PSTN as well as SIP trunking).

Surface Hub

The Surface Hub is a brand of interactive whiteboard developed and marketed by Microsoft, as part of the Microsoft Surface family. The Surface Hub is a wall-mounted or roller-stand-mounted device with either a 55-inch (140 cm) 1080p or an 84-inch (210 cm) 4K 120 Hz touchscreen with multi-touch and multi-pen capabilities, running the Windows 10 operating system. The devices are targeted for businesses to use while collaborating and videoconferencing.

On May 15, 2018, Microsoft announced that the second-generation Surface Hub 2 would be released in 2019.

USB phone

USBphone looks like a traditional telephone, but it has a USB connector instead of an RJ-11. It may be used with most softphones and services like Skype, Sipnet, Sippoint Mini, Net2Phone, MSN Messenger, NetMeeting, Xlite, Skype for Business.

In 2005 XS4ALL Internet BV (the first public internet provider in the Netherlands) supplied all of its DSL users with a USB VOIP Phone, it was a creation out of the mind of Donar Alofs and built by Philips. It came with a browser plugin and people could make and receive calls via this USB Phone via and internet website ( Later on, people got DSL modems with rj-11 VoIP ports and rj45 ISDN ports, later the DSL modem/routers also got built-in DECT for making calls with traditional phones.

In 2009, Polycom introduced the CX300 USB phone, optimized for Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2. In its second release (CX300 R2), this USB phone operates as a plug-and-play device with Skype for Business, Microsoft Lync 2013, and Microsoft Lync 2010. A user can communicate using the handset, plug in a headset (RJ9 plug in rear), or use it as a speakerphone when the handset is left on-hook. It is also supported with Skype for Business online which makes it a possible endpoint to use with Office 365 Cloud PBX when connected to a PC running the Skype for Business client.

Unify Square

Unify Square is a privately held American technology solution company developing software and offering services for managing collaboration and communications platforms, including Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Skype for Business, Slack, Zoom, Workplace by Facebook, and Microsoft Office 365. The company was founded in 2008 and has its headquarters in Bellevue, Washington.

See also
Office suites
Other topics


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