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September 24, 2012

SKYPE News - More Details of Lync-Skype Integration Confirmed by Microsoft

By Colleen Lynch, TMCnet Contributor

More details concerning the next version of Microsoft’s Lync have been released by the company, including information regarding the integration of Lync and the popular video-calling service Skype (News - Alert).

The newest word on Lync comes exclusively from Brian Crum, Microsoft Lync product marketing manager, who posted to Microsoft’s Lync Team Blog on September 20th.

“This combination of the best of both products will enable customers to connect and collaborate without constraints with suppliers, customers, and partners with the reach of Skype and the controls, manageability, and enterprise-grade features of Lync,” he wrote.

The integration comes as a result of Microsoft’s $8.5 billion acquisition of Skype from October 2011, and will allow Lync users to call anyone on Skype. Until now, the reality of the integration was only rumored; for instance, Microsoft CFO Peter Klein (News - Alert) said in February that the company was working to develop an easier way for Lync and Skype users to communicate with one another. In July during the preview release of Microsoft Lync Server 2013, Skype federation was also mentioned. 

Thanks to Crum’s insightful blog post, the integration has been officially confirmed. The post mentions that there will be a Lync App designed for Windows 8 and RT devices, set for release in late October of this year, which will be available from the Windows Store and will work for both Lync Server 2010 and 2013.

“The Lync partner ecosystem continues to grow at a rapid pace. Enterprises that have Microsoft Exchange and other Microsoft products should consider the Lync solution and, at a minimum, understand how it might change their business processes and worker productivity,” said Gartner (News - Alert) analysts Bern Elliot and Steve Blood, in their August 2012 report.

With a high rating from Gartner in its Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications, Microsoft is starting to pose a threat to competing companies such as Cisco, Siemens (News - Alert) Enterprise Communications and Avaya.

Cisco especially seems to be feeling the Lync heat, as earlier this year, it claimed the European Commission should put conditions on Microsoft’s Skype acquisition, as the deal would be bad for customers.

Other details regarding the integration include customers’ ability to unify voice and video calls, and Lync functions such as Lync Meetings, using their Windows devices. The mobile Lync application will include bolstered VoIP and video capabilities from Windows Phone as well as Apple iOS and Google Android devices.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2012, taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Allison Boccamazzo

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