Microsoft plans to bring Skype users and teams closer together in March 2020. The company had already announced plans in summer 2019 – together with the plan to completely replace Skype for Business Online by 2021. With the upcoming integration, users should be able to communicate with Skype users from within teams. This should be possible via message, voice and video chat, the reports IT blog Dr. Windows.
Such an integration can be useful if employees want to communicate with their customers who work on a different platform, for example. To interact, you need the e-mail addresses of the respective conversation partner, which is connected to a corresponding Microsoft account. Both Skype and Teams use this as the primary sign-in option. However, searches should only work in one direction: from Microsoft Teams on Skype.
Teams is looking for Skype
Ultimately, this is also logical, since teams can be used free of charge by any Office 365 customer, but this requires a fee-based license for Microsoft's office tools. The standard version of Skype, on the other hand, is completely free of charge and is currently financed by advertising. The payment option Skype for Business, on the other hand, should remain a standalone tool that users can continue to use.
Dr. Windows speculates that the end customer version of Skype will eventually be included in the software teams. However, that would require that Microsoft decouples the software from Office 365 and offers it completely free of charge. This is difficult, if only because of the structure of teams: The program is designed for the communication between employees – represented by paid Office 365 accounts. Skype will therefore likely continue to exist as a standalone voice and video chat tool. But that is not certain either.