Microsoft warns: You've only got six months to move from Skype for Business Online to Teams

Microsoft is warning Skype For Business Online customers to start moving to Teams now to prepare for legacy product's retirement on July 31, 2021.

Cheerful woman in headphones greeting friend while talking on laptop at home

Get ready to wave goodbye to Skype for Business Online.

Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Microsoft's Skype for Business Online is going away on July 31, 2021 and the company has issued a reminder for customers to start the migration now if they haven't already. 

Microsoft announced the Skype for Business Online deadline on July 30, 2019, giving two years for customers to move to Teams.

Today's alert from the Redmond company is a reminder that Skype for Business Online retires in six months' time. Microsoft acknowledges that customers are at varying points of their migration to Teams and that the COVID-19 pandemic may have caused delays to migration, but it isn't extending the deadline beyond July 31, 2021. 

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"Regardless of where you are on the journey from Skype for Business to Teams, this is an important checkpoint to make sure your organization is on track to upgrade to Teams before Skype for Business Online retires and access to the service ends," the Microsoft Teams team said in a blogpost.  

"Some organizations may not be far along in the Teams upgrade planning process. It's understandable as the events of the past year have impacted strategies, priorities, and resources for so many. Don't worry, you still have time," the team added.

Microsoft notes that numerous customers have upgraded from Skype for Business Online, hybrid deployments or Skype for Business Server to Teams "in a matter of months."

It also provides links in the blog to resources to help customers migrate to Teams. 

Microsoft claimed in 2018 that Teams had reached "feature parity" with Skype for Business Online. Since then, Microsoft has worked to improve calling features and it's doubled down on new video-meeting and collaboration features throughout the COVID-19 pandemic as much of the world's workforce moved to remote working.  

Usage of Teams has grown rapidly during the pandemic. In 2019, it had 500,000 organizations using Teams worldwide. In October 2020, Microsoft said Teams had more than 115 million daily active users, up from 75 million daily active users in April.  

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Some Skype for Business Online customers will be eligible for automated upgrades to Microsoft Teams, the company said.

"This program was designed to assist customers with the technical elements of upgrading a Skype for Business Online tenant to Teams Only," notes Microsoft.  

"Customers scheduled for automated upgrades will receive notifications in both the Teams admin center, as well as the Microsoft 365 Message Center, at least three months before their upgrade date to allow time for technical and user readiness."