Rumors about Skype for Business have been flying around for some time now. For example, Microsoft is said to want to stop supporting the communication platform for businesses, preferring to focus exclusively on its Teams alternative. This would signal the beginning of the end for this popular communication service. Will this familiar brand truly soon be over and done with, after decades in which it grew to be so popular that it even became a verb? It's time to get down to the details!
Let's get one thing straight: one Skype is not the other. This is about the business version of Skype. You may use the consumer version yourself in your private life, to make video calls and chat with friends and family. That one isn't likely to disappear any time soon. And let me provide a word of reassurance right now: there's no need to worry too much about the business version either.
Skype for Business Server: business as usual
The business version is available in two variants. The first is Skype for Business Server, an on-premises variant you can either install on your own servers or purchase as a service from a private cloud service provider. The other is the public cloud service, Skype for Business Online, hosted by Microsoft itself as part of Office 365 and Microsoft 365.
Skype for Business Server, Microsoft's communication tool that targets businesses specifically, will continue to exist as before in the coming years. Skype for Business Server 2019, the latest version, will in fact benefit from extensive support by Microsoft until October 14, 2025, to be precise. During Microsoft's most important annual technology conference Ignite, which was forced to take place virtually this time around, they even announced another new version. This is expected to be available somewhere in the second half of next year. Read more about it here.