Microsoft says its will offer a version of its Skype voice and video chat software for business customers, phasing out its Lync business software in the first half of next year.
This was a long time coming. It was natural to wonder why Microsoft continued to develop its own business-focused communications tool after shelling out $8.5 billion to buy Skype in the first place. Microsoft linked Lync — itself the successor to Microsoft Office Communicator — and Skype functionality last year.
The thread that connects the Skype news to Microsoft’s broader shift in strategy is the question that if people increasingly take their own devices to and from work, how much sense does it make to erect a firm barrier between software for the home and the workplace? Office workers and users of software of all stripes will gravitate toward the tools they’re most familiar with, a view some analysts saw between the lines of Microsoft’s decision to offer free versions of Office for Apple and Google mobile devices.
Microsoft has more details on the transition in a post on Skype’s blog.