Microsoft clearly wants folks to use its Teams product and, in a bid to do so, it will be shutting down Skype for Business Online.

The web application is not going away soon however, in fact Microsoft will continue to support it until 31st July 2021. That having been said, new Office 365 users won’t see an option to use Skype and will instead be directed to Teams.

“In 2017 we launched Microsoft Teams as ‘the hub for teamwork’ in Microsoft 365. Teams combines chat, video, calling, and document collaboration into a single, integrated app – and enables an entirely new way of working. Over the last two years, we’ve worked closely with customers to refine Teams, and we now feel we’re at the point that we can confidently recommend it as an upgrade to all Skype for Business Online customers,” Microsoft said in its announcement.

The firm has reiterated that the Skype consumer service and Skype for Business Server will not be affected by this shut down.

This announcement then serves as a way to inform business owners and decision makers that they should probably explore alternate options should they not wish to be forced into using Teams.

Teams will also be receiving a number of feature updates to address the needs of Skype for Business Online users.

These features include:

  • Dynamic 911 – A feature of Microsoft Teams Phone System, Dynamic E911 automatically uses the caller’s current location to route to a Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) call center operated by the local government. Dynamic E911 will be delivered in Teams for the United States by the end of this calendar year.
  • Shorter Retention Periods – New retention period options will allow customers to limit channel and chat retention periods to as short as 1 day and ensure that when data is deleted it is removed from all permanent storage locations in the Teams service. Shorter Retention Periods will be available in Teams by the end of this calendar year.
  • Teams and Skype Consumer Interop – Interop between Teams and Skype Consumer will allow users on the two services to communicate using both chat and calling. Teams and Skype Consumer Interop will be available in Teams in the first quarter of calendar year 2020.
  • Contact Center Integration and Compliance Recording – At Inspire earlier this month we announced Teams partnerships with Five9, Genesys, and NICE to enable Contact Center solutions – and with ASC, NICE, and Verint to provide Compliance Recording. We’re also working with other Skype for Business Online certified partners to bring other Contact Center and Compliance Recording solutions to market for Teams.