Back in 2017 when Microsoft announced that its Teams group-chat service will be replacing Skype for Business Online. Several customers have been asking when the company will provide cut-off deadline regarding Skype for Business. Just recently the officials at Microsoft revealed the deadline date is July 31st, 2021. Skype for Business will be retired on that date according to Microsoft officials.
After July 31st, 2021, Skype for Business will be no longer accessible to users. However, between now and that date, Skype for Business will continue operating its services as usual and still can add new users. Although, on September 1st, 2019 all the new Office 365 customers will be using Teams and will not have the option to use Skype for Business Online.
I inquired the officials at Microsoft if the customers will ever have an option to pay for custom support agreement if they still don’t want to move from Skype for Business Online to Teams as per deadline due date. But I was told by a spokesperson that the company declined to comment. Just as it seems they aren’t ready to make the move yet and need some time to discuss the idea of possibility retaining Skype for Business Online just for an extend period.
Last summer, the officials at Microsoft reached “feature parity” between Skype for Business Online and Microsoft Teams. However, not all users agreed. For instance, Teams lacks a feature that prevents a number of users from making the switch. Thanks to feedback from the users, Microsoft is adding the ability to communicate using chat and calling in the first quarter of 2020.
In Microsoft’s blog, they mentioned other products and feature requests to integrate some of the most popular features from current Skype for Business Online. The company stated that they are currently working to address the customers’ request to ensure they will be integrated into Teams. Among these most requested features are:
- Dynamic 911: Uses the caller’s current location and routes to a Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) call center run that is run by the local government. This feature will be added for Teams users in the United States by the end of 2019.
- Shorter retention periods for channels and chats. This will present new options to users who wants to limit retention periods as short as one day. Once the data is deleted, it will be completely removed from all permanent storage locations in Team. Again, the company said that this feature will become available by end of 2019.
- Introducing Contact Center Integration and Compliance recording. Microsoft is currently working with various certified partners to provide capabilities for these contact centers to ensure quality is consistent and remains high.
If you are thinking of making the switch from Skype for Business Online to Teams. The company created an in-depth and detailed technical guidance that helps users makes their transition experience smooth as possible. A friendly reminder that the on-premises server version of Skype for Business will not expire in 2021. In fact, it will be extended until October 14th, 2025.
Meanwhile, Microsoft recently released a product teaser called Xbox Cloud. Which is a brand new handheld gaming console that shifts its focus towards taking a portion of consumer market that Nintendo has been dominating. It is also an indicator that the company is ready to take heads-on with upgraded Nintendo Switch models and more recently, the lite version of Switch.
The decision to drop Skype for Business Online in July 2021 might be a little bit daunting for some people who don’t like changes. However, Microsoft is working to ensure that users who still want to continue using the chat functions that Skype currently has by integrating into Teams. What are your thoughts and views on moving from Skype for Business Online to Teams? Feel free to comment in the comments section below.