Microsoft pushes ahead with Skype-Lync integration

The company will demonstrate video conference compatibility between the two products at this week's Lync Conference

Microsoft will demonstrate on Tuesday how Lync and Skype users will be able to communicate via video conferencing, the next stage of the integration between its enterprise unified communications server and its consumer IM and IP telephony network.

The new integration will be shown at the Lync Conference, which runs through Thursday in Las Vegas and will be attended by almost 2,000 customers and partners, according to Microsoft.

The company will also announce a Lync app for Android tablets, integration between Lync and Cisco's Tandberg high-end telepresence systems and telephony capabilities for Lync Online, the product's public cloud-hosted version.

In aggregate, the announcements underscore Microsoft's vision to move "from unified to universal communications," said Giovanni Mezgec, general manager of enterprise product marketing for Skype at Microsoft.

This means that Microsoft intends to give its customers a set of interoperable IM, audio communications, video conferencing, online meetings and IP telephony tools for their personal and work lives.

With this approach, Microsoft hopes to get an edge over rivals in the UC market like Cisco, Avaya, IBM, Siemens, Google, Alcatel-Lucent, Mitel and ShoreTel.

In mid-2013, Microsoft delivered the first phase of the Lync-Skype integration, making it possible for Lync and Skype users to contact each other, engage in IM sessions and communicate via audio calls. Skype, which Microsoft bought in 2011 for $8.5 billion, is used by about 300 million people worldwide, while Lync is used by more than 90 percent of the Fortune 100, according to the company.

The video conferencing compatibility, which is now in early beta testing, "will enable new cool scenarios," he said. For example, a company whose call center and customer support staffers use Lync could communicate with customers using Skype using video.

Meanwhile, Microsoft plans to start beta testing the integration with the Cisco Tandberg telepresence systems soon after this week's conference ends, he said, adding that Microsoft is doing the work using open standards and available Cisco APIs.

The Lync app for Android tablets is due this summer. There are already Lync apps for Windows Phone, iPhone, iPad, Android smartphones, Mac OS computers and Windows 8.

Finally, it's not clear when Microsoft expects to deliver the native IP telephony capability for Lync Online, a much-requested feature that Lync Server hosted on-premises or in private clouds already has.

Juan Carlos Perez covers enterprise communication/collaboration suites, operating systems, browsers and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Juan on Twitter at @JuanCPerezIDG.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Microsoftinternetunified communicationsNetworkingvideocollaborationsoftwareapplicationsinstant messagingInternet-based applications and servicesTelephony/conferencing

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
Show Comments



Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >

Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?