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Microsoft signals the end for Skype for Business Online, asking Teams to take over

Consumer users are unaffected for now

Microsoft is slowly nudging business customers away from Skype, and over to Teams, by shutting down Skype for Business Online.

Skype for Business Online won't go away immediately; in fact, it won't officially close until July 31, 2021. But if you're a new user who logs on after September 1, you won't be able to access Skype for Business Online. You'll be kicked to Teams instead.

Microsoft isn't making changes to the Skype version used by consumers, or to the Skype Business server edition. But if you've logged into the Skype for Business web app at work, Teams will load instead.

"Over the last two years, we’ve worked closely with customers to refine Teams, and we now feel we’re at the point that we can confidently recommend it as an upgrade to all Skype for Business Online customers," James Skay, the senior marketing manager for Skype for Business, wrote in a blog post on Tuesday.

"Customers who have already made the move tell us that Teams not only has helped them improve collaboration generally, it has also provided a rare opportunity to rethink the way work gets done in their organisations."

Microsoft continues to grow Teams with new features, including a free version with a generous allotment of users and storage.

But with Skype splitting off into two components, and then Lync disappearing in favor of Skype for Business, Microsoft's messaging apps can't seem to find a solution that the company is happy with.