Microsoft To Retire Skype for Business Online in 2021

Skype corporation sign

With Teams passing 13 million daily active users, it should come as little surprise that Microsoft is rapidly moving away from other communication platforms. To start putting stakes in the ground for future planning purposes, Microsoft is announcing the end of Skype for Business Online.

On July 31st, 2021, Microsoft will retire Skype for Business Online. This is a significant change for Microsoft and further cements the plans that Teams will replace all communication services for the company.

From now until the retirement date, Microsoft says that Skype for Business Online customers will experience no change in service or operation. But, one thing you should be aware of, is that starting on September 1st, 2019, all new customers will onboard directly to Teams for chat, meetings, and calling.

If you are using the Skype consumer service or Skype for Business Server, neither of those products are impacted by this announcement. And for those who have been asking, Teams and Skype Consumer Interop will be available in Teams in the first quarter of calendar year 2020.

This news should not come as a major surprise to anyone, Microsoft has been pushing Teams at any given chance and the company has made it clear that Skype services are the past for the company. Teams is Microsoft’s new darling and with mostly-positive reviews of the new collaboration application, the company has no plans to support Skype and Teams in the business environment for the long-haul.

If you are using Skype for Business Online, you need to start planning for a migration to Teams. Even though this announcement gives you two years of lead time, for customers with a large number of users, migrations and proper planning take time.