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Microsoft Connects Skype, Lync

June 3, 2013 | Telepresence Options

skype lync

Story and Images by Pedro Hernandez / eWeek USA

Microsoft has introduced voice and chat interoperability between its enterprise and consumer products.

Skype�and�Lync�users can finally call each other and participate in text chats without switching apps, Microsoft has announced.

For now, Lync-Skype connectivity works only on the Skype desktop clients for Windows and Mac, but Microsoft assures that it is bringing the functionality to other platforms soon. Video calling between both platforms is also in the works.

Consumer and enterprise interoperability

On 12 February, Giovanni Mezgec, general manager of Lync, told eWEEK: "By bringing the assets that we have on the consumer front with Skype and on the enterprise front with Lync, we can have a unified platform that really brings communications from the living room to the boardroom in a way that makes sense and is rationalised and connected rather than having disconnected islands."

Mezgec revealed that Microsoft planned to enable voice, chat and presence reporting between Lync and Skype in June.

On 29 May, he announced on Skype's Big Blog that Microsoft had switched on those features a little early.

"Today, we're excited to announce Skype and Lync customers around the world are now able to connect with each other from across these platforms," he wrote. "This is our first step in combining the enterprise richness of Lync and the global reach of Skype to transform the communications experience and enable Skype users to reach professional contacts in organisations of all sizes," added Mezgec.

Adding Lync contacts requires that a Skype account holder have a Lync user's email address and uses it to send a contact request via the software client. Once the request is accepted, the users show up on each other's contact list.

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