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Microsoft points at Skype, Lync: You two, in my office – right now

One of you needs to clear your desk

Microsoft's telepresence teaser

Microsoft has confirmed it will roll out Skype for Business – the service formerly known as Microsoft Lync – across its subscription-based Office 365 cloud this month.

"Skype for Business Online is now rolling out to Office 365 customers worldwide, and we expect the roll out to be complete by the end of May," said the Skype team in a blog post.

"If you currently use Lync Online in Office 365, the new Skype for Business user experience will appear for you in the coming weeks. For customers that need a little more time to prepare for Skype for Business, we have provided the ability for administrators to switch between Skype for Business and the traditional Lync user interface."

Microsoft announced the switch from "Lync" to "Skype for Business" back in November, and has spent the intervening months carefully skinning Lync's voice and video calls, instant messaging, and videoconferencing, to look just like Skype. No features were dropped during the renovations, we're told.

Skype for Business will be rooted in the Office 365 cloud, as Microsoft promised. There have been some tweaks to what was once Lync during the changeover: OneNote integration has been improved so that the note-taking app can be used in group chats, and sharing files over Skype is easier now, Redmond claims.

The menu system has been beefed up, both in the amount of information and the speed with which it is displayed.

It's a sad end for Lync the brand, which only lasted four years after being born from Office Communicator 2007; the writing was on the wall ever since Microsoft's purchase of Skype in 2011. ®

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