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A look at the new Microsoft Skype for Business Server 2015

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In March, Microsoft released Skype for Business Server 2015, its enterprise communications product that is the successor to both Lync Server for on-premises installations and Lync Online for cloud customers.

Skype for Business Server 2015 is a modest upgrade that takes care of a lot of plumbing on the server side but is more of a cosmetic polish on the client side. In this piece, I will take a look at exactly what Skype for Business is, what is new or improved in this release, some things to look forward to and perhaps some "gotchas" as well. Let's dive in.

Busting some myths

Let me take this opportunity to talk a little bit about what Skype for Business is not:

Skype for Business is not a replacement for Skype. Yes, it seems Microsoft has done it again -- it has created two services that seemingly have the same purpose and outcome but go about it in entirely different and mostly incompatible ways (think OneDrive and OneDrive for Business). Skype for Business is Lync, renamed. Skype that you freely download is still Skype, the same customer service Microsoft purchased from eBay a few years ago. It operates independently of Lync/Skype for Business, although some companies have enabled federation, which is the ability for Lync clients to initiate chats to Skype users.

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