Microsoft delivers first phase of Lync-Skype integration

Microsoft delivers first phase of Lync-Skype integration

Summary: Microsoft is rolling out, as promised, the first of its Lync-to-Skype integration capabilities, with more features and platform support to follow.

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On May 29, Microsoft made available the first phase of its promised integration between its Lync and Skype communications services.

lync2013

As of today, according to Microsoft, users of the two services can now:

  • Add Skype contacts to Lync and vice-versa, enabling presence sharing
  • Initiate audio calling and instant messaging between Lync and Skype

Video connectivity between Skype and Lync isn't coming until mid-2014 or so, officials have said.

To enable this integration, Lync administrators first need to enable Lync-Skype connectivity via their Lync Servers or Lync Online/Office 365 via the Lync administration center in the portal. If users already have Lync-Windows Live Messenger federation working, no additional steps are needed to enable Lync-Skype connectivity, according to a May 29 post on the Lync Team Blog.

Lync users can connect to Skype from Lync 2010 or Lync 2013, including any of the 2013 mobile clients. Skype users need to have the latest Skype client for their particular platform, downloadable from Skype.com. Currently, only Windows and Mac desktop clients are supported; the Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, Linux and other mobile platforms will be added "soon."

In addition, for the Skype-Lync connectivity to work, Skype users must sign in to Skype with a Microsoft account (formerly Windows Live ID) to communicate with their Lync contacts.

While today's availability announcement for phase one of the integration comes ahead of the self-imposed June 30 deadline Microsoft set for itself, it's still later than many had expected. 

Customers who were testing Microsoft's Lync 2013 last year noted that Skype federation was one of the features of Lync 2013. Microsoft officials also confirmed Skype federation was designed to be part of the Lync 2013 release. But when Lync Server 2013 RTM'd in October 2012, along with the rest of the new Office client/server products, Skype federation seemingly wasn't part of the final product, after all.

Lync is Microsoft's unified communications platform for business users. It includes corporate IM, VOIP and conferencing capabilities. Skype is Micrsosoft's unified communications platform for consumers. Late last year, Microsoft moved the Lync team under the Skype team, so that Lync reported  to Tony Bates, the President of Skype. (That said, Lync still reports its financial results as part of the Microsoft Business Division, not the Entertainment & Devices unit, which is where the Skype division reports.)

Topics: Unified Comms, Microsoft

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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11 comments
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  • Microsoft delivers first phase of Lync-Skype integration

    Just more malware problems for the end users.....mark my words.
    Over and Out
    • Is there a way to make you vanish?

      Just asking.

      You're kind of annoying.
      ForeverCookie
      • ForeverCookie....just say the word

        POOF and I'm gone ....see how easy that was
        Over and Out
        • Aw, don't leave.

          I like actually ya around here.

          Unlike Long, you're a funny person.

          Just tone down the MS trolling a bit.

          It turns people off.
          ForeverCookie
    • LOL!

      Your username says it all, which means you have no credibility and nobody is going to take you seriously. Linux is rarely enough.
      jhammackHTH
  • my prediction for MS plan for this over the next few years

    phase 1: Skype will fade as they focus on Lync, hoping skype's user base slowly transistions to lync.
    phase 2: Lync on other than windows platforms will become second class. More users will move to lync on windows platforms.
    phase 3: Lync support is dropped from other than windows platforms, as most of the former skype and lync on non windows platform users should now have been lured to windows and windows phone.
    phase 4: skype is finally shut down.
    phase 5: steve is now happy
    drwong
    • Contd...

      Phase 1: DrWong cries and trolls here
      Phase 2: DrWong cries and trolls here
      Phase 3: DrWong cries and trolls here
      Phase 4: Do you mind?
      Ram U
  • Kudos to Microsoft

    Making the best communication products even better.
    toddbottom3
  • Is This The End For Lync?

    First they put the Lync devs under the Skype management. What does that say about their priorities for future directions?
    ldo17
  • Lync?

    What is Lync?
    Is it yet another email system?
    JeremyBoden
  • Enhancing unified communication Experience

    In this competitive globalized environment, a reliable, flexible and collaborative communication solution has become critical for organizations to keep speed with the fast changing marketplace. Lync by design is a software powered UC solution underpinned by its flexibility to integrate with other business workflows. Lync comes with a powerful concept called – Conversation window extension (CWE) – an embeddable browser that provides hosting environment for the content and displays contextual application within the Lync client itself.

    You might be interested to attend a webinar on enhancing unified communications through Lync and UCMA - http://j.mp/18o3hwE
    sushant21