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Skype for Business included in Office update

Microsoft has unveiled a Skype for Business product as part of the monthly April update for Office 2013 and Office 365 customers.

This will replace the Lync unified communications brand – as announced by Redmond in November.

The purpose is to combine the widespread user understanding of Skype with the enterprise-grade security, compliance and control features of Lync.

Lync Online users in Office 365 will start to see Skype for Business appearing in the next few weeks, however, customers that wish to switch between Skype for business and Lync, can do so.

Features such as drag-and-drop file transfer, Enterprise-grade security and management of employee accounts, rate my call, dual user experience, skype directory integration and even retaining Skype emoticons, will excite users.

Office integration

The new product is built into Office, so that features such as presence, instant messaging, voice and video calling and online meetings will become an integrated part of the Office experience.

Skype for Business will also be made available as a cloud-based option, with only a small fee required for the basic feature set.