Microsoft to drop Skype for Business Online and replace with Teams in 2021

Two years after hinting at plans to phase out Skype for Business Online and replace it with Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Corp. made it official this week.

Microsoft announced in a blog post that Skype for Business Online will ride off into the sunset on July 31, 2021.

“Over the last two years, we’ve worked closely with customers to refine Teams, and we now feel we’re at the point that we can confidently recommend it as an upgrade to all Skype for Business Online customers,” wrote James Skay, Microsoft’s senior product marketing manager in the intelligent communications product marketing group.

Until then, current Skype for Business Online users will see no interruption in service, although starting on Sept. 1 of this year, any new Office 365 users will be automatically onboarded to Microsoft Teams without an option to use Skype for Business Online.

Skype Consumer service and Skype for Business Server will not be affected by this change.

Microsoft Teams was designed to perform all the tasks that can be done on Skype for Business Online, plus some additional features. It allows for chat, video, calling, and document collaboration, all within a single integrated app.

Microsoft said it’s going to help existing Skype customers migrate to Teams by offering a set of technical guidance and planning resources, as well as free instructor-led training and FastTrack onboarding assistance for eligible subscriptions.

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