Microsoft Converges Skype and Lync Services

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Microsoft has been making some big moves with Skype integration lately. Last week, Microsoft released a video voicemail update for most Skype users, which was surprisingly missing for Windows users. Today, Skype president Tony Bates announced at a Lync Conference Keynote that Skype and Lync will soon be connected, allowing Lync users to call and message Skype users. This convergence is slated to start in June of this year, and launch of video connectivity has yet to be announced.

Lync is Microsoft’s answer to business communications, providing a singular interface within which to communicate. Lync provides instant messaging services, which are similar to most chat rooms used by enterprise users already, allowing real-time text-based chat and file sharing. What sets Lync apart, however, is its upcoming integration with Skype and mobile apps, which will enable VoIP and video over IP to various devices. According to Microsoft, a Windows Phone 8 and iOS version of the Lync app will be available in early March, with an Android version coming sometime in April.

While we are still waiting for details on Microsoft’s plans to bring Skype to the Xbox, we have heard before that Microsoft will be converting its messenger users to Skype starting April 8th. Outlook 2013 has recently acquired Skype integration, and Outlook.com will be getting the same integration soon. With the newest iteration of the Xbox on the horizon, it will be interesting to see how Microsoft uses Skype in its future hardware.

Although Microsoft had owned Skype since May of 2011, it looks 2013 is becoming the year that Microsoft fully integrates Skype into all of its existing services. Are you an enterprise user who uses Lync? Do you think the Skype integration with Lync will make your life a little easier? We’d love to know your thoughts.

[Via: The Verge]

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