What you need to know
- Skype for Business Online gets retired on July 31, 2021.
- Your options after July 31 will be Microsoft Teams or Skype for Business Server.
- Microsoft will be scheduling Microsoft-assisted upgrades in the coming weeks.
If you're on Skype for Business Online, you probably already know that the service's days are numbered. Microsoft has been waving the red flag about this for years, so the company's latest reminder shouldn't come as a surprise (via ZDNet). As of today, you have 90 days until Skype for Business Online is retired.
Microsoft's recent post on the subject clarifies what's going to happen when the service is retired, what users' options are, and what the Microsoft-assisted upgrade rollout will look like. The first item mentioned is that customers can transition to either Microsoft Teams or an instance of Skype for Business Server. Then, there's a list of what will happen on July 31, which states that services that integrate with Skype for Business online won't be supported anymore, nor will customers be able to move users out of Teams Only mode.
Microsoft isn't looking to shove anyone out in the cold, though. Its post has multiple sections dedicated to how smooth transitions out of Skype for Business Online can be achieved. The first one details the company's plans for Microsoft-assisted upgrades to Microsoft Teams. Here's a snippet of it:
In the coming weeks, we'll begin scheduling Microsoft-assisted upgrades to Teams for Skype for Business Online customers with cloud-only or hybrid deployments. Assisted upgrades help with last-mile technical steps of the transition to Teams. Customers will be notified through the Teams admin center and the Microsoft 365 Message Center, 90 days prior to the scheduled date of their assisted upgrade. Customers tracking to complete their transitions to Teams Only prior to their scheduled automated upgrade date are encouraged to do so for better control over the timing of their upgrade experience.
You can see the full outline of transition assistance plans and tools via the Microsoft Teams Blog post linked above. And if you're sad about Skype for Business Online going away, don't forget that Microsoft Teams is pretty great, too. It's constantly getting new features such as automatic meeting recording, call merging, improved GitHub integration, and so much more.
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