What you need to know
- Microsoft will retire Skype for Business Online at the end of this month.
- The company encourages organizations to transition to Microsoft Teams.
- Microsoft assisted upgrades to Teams will be scheduled for organizations that haven't upgraded yet.
Skype for Business Online will be retired on July 31, 2021. Microsoft encourages organizations still using the service to transition to Microsoft Teams by the end of the month. A Tech Community post (opens in new tab) from the company lists resources available to organizations making the transition (via ZDNet).
Microsoft first announced the retirement of Skype for Business Online almost two years ago. The company has sent out several warnings about its upcoming retirement and offered support for organizations making the transition to Teams.
If an organization hasn't moved to Teams yet, it will be scheduled for Microsoft assisted upgrades to Teams (opens in new tab). These help with the "last-mile technical elements of the transition," according to Microsoft. If these upgrades are scheduled, an organization can choose to self-upgrade before the assisted upgrade date.
Assisted upgrades will begin in August 2021. If an organization is scheduled for an assisted upgrade, it will be able to use Skype for Business Online until the upgrade is finished.
Microsoft explains how the upgrade experience will differ depending on if an organization is Skype for Business Online-only or if it has Skype for Business Online users in a hybrid environment.
- Skype for Business Online-only: The assisted upgrade process will apply the TeamsUpgradeOverridePolicy policy to the tenant. When this policy is applied, all Skype for Business Online users will be placed in Teams Only mode.
- Skype for Business Online users in hybrid environment: The assisted upgrade will only switch Skype for Business Online users to Teams Only mode if they're not already in that mode. Skype for Business Server users won't be impacted by the assisted upgrade process and will remain on-premises.
Microsoft explains that the transition usually takes less than 24 hours, but that time will vary based on how many users have to move over to Teams.
Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at email@example.com (opens in new tab).
Skype for Business has been around a lot longer than 2015. SfB was simply a rebrand of OCS which was a rebrand of Link. We retired it last fall when we went all in on Teams. RIP SfB.
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