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“Skype for Business Online” to end service in July 2021 ZDNet Japan

In 2017, Microsoft announced that its group chat service, Skype for Business Online, would be discontinued and replaced by Microsoft Teams. However, it did not respond to a question about when the final deadline for the switch would be. However, we have finally announced that the Skype for Business Online service will end on July 31, 2021.

After this date, the service will no longer be accessible. But in the meantime, Skype for Business Online users can continue to use the service as normal and add new users, according to the company’s blog post. However, new customers who start using “Office 365” after September 1, 2019 will use Teams and will no longer have the option to choose Skype for Business Online.

I asked a Microsoft representative if there were paid support options for customers who can’t migrate from Skype for Business Online to Teams by the deadline, but the company declined to comment.

The company said in the summer of 2018 that Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams had feature parity, but some users disagreed.

For example, many Skype users cite the inability to federate Skype and Teams users as the reason they can’t migrate to Teams. I’ve asked Microsoft representatives if and when they plan to implement this much-requested feature, but so far they haven’t responded. But now Microsoft has finally commented on the issue. By the first quarter of 2020, the company will add a function that allows general users of Teams and Skype to communicate via chat and call.

In the blog post, the company also mentions other features that current Skype for Business Online users are looking for in Teams.

  • Dynamic 911 (emergency call). Later in 2019, Teams users in the United States will be able to use the caller’s current location to connect them with public safety answering point (PSAP) call centers run by local governments.

  • Shorter retention period for channels and chats. With this new option, you can limit data retention to a minimum of one day. When data is deleted, it’s guaranteed to be wiped from all persistent storage locations in Teams. This feature will be added in 2019.

  • Contact center integration and compliance records. Microsoft is working with various certified partners to prepare to provide contact center capabilities.

The company already provides guidance and planning information for migrating from Skype for Business Online to Teams, as well as instructor-led training and a service called FastTrack to help with the transition.

Please note that the on-premises server version of Skype for Business will still be available after 2021. Microsoft released “Skype for Business Server 2019” in the fall of 2018. The extended support period for Skype for Business Server 2019 is until October 14, 2025.

This article is an article from overseas CBS Interactive edited by Asahi Interactive for Japan.

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