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Microsoft Plans to Kill Skype for Business in Favor of Teams

September 25, 2017, 7:08 PM UTC

Microsoft plans to replace its Skype for Business online phone service.

The business technology giant said Monday that its Microsoft Teams app would replace Skype for Business as the company’s Office 365 app for workplace communications like chatting and sharing documents.

Microsoft (MSFT) didn’t say when it would stop supporting Skype for Business, only that it gradually plans to phase it out in favor of Teams.

Microsoft debuted Teams in March amid tough competition in the workplace chatting software market in which it faces off against Slack, Cisco (CSCO), Google (GOOG) and its Google Hangouts service, and business software company Atlassian (TEAM).

Meanwhile, Microsoft has continued to update Skype for Business over the past year with features like an automated voice system that routes in-coming calls to the correct recipients. Unlike the popular free version of Skype, businesses must pay monthly subscription fees for features like the ability to hold big web meetings and improved security.

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It appears that Microsoft believes it can get more customers by de-emphasizing Skype for Business in favor of its younger software, which is receiving a bigger marketing push. Microsoft debuted Skype for Business just three years ago as an improved version of its older Lync video conferencing software.

Now, Microsoft is essentially saying goodbye to the Skype for Business name. In the meantime, the company still plans to release a new version of the service for customers to use in their internal data centers in the second half of 2018, the company said.