As part of the simplification of its portfolio, Microsoft is dropping the Lync name as it rebrands the business messaging and conferencing tool. The name will change to Skype for Business in the first half of 2015, and interface tweaks will see the business version of the tools closely mimicking that of the consumer Skype product.
The aim is to create a more uniform experience for people using Microsoft's communication tools at home and in the office. After a decade of Skype, and bearing in mind the success of Lync, it was almost inevitable that the two products would ultimately become one, and that day is now almost here. As Microsoft puts it: "The magic of Skype and the power of Lync are coming together".
Announcing the rebranding, Gurdeep Pall, Corporate Vice President of Skype said: "We are bringing together the familiar experience and user love of Skype with the enterprise security, compliance, and control from Lync to create the most loved and trusted communications platform for doing things together".
As a key component of Office for enterprise, Skype for Business will continue the collaborative drive of Lync. Microsoft promises that in addition to a new interface, there will also be a new server release and updates to the service in Office 365. The business version of Skype will benefit from the addition of video calling and access to the Skype user directory, and the Lync backbone will remain at the core of the product.
Microsoft has a video to introduce Skype for Business: