Office 365 for IT Pros

Microsoft Announces Retirement of Skype for Business Online


Service Shuts Down on July 31, 2021

A process started in September 2017 with the announcement at the Ignite conference that Teams would replace Skype for Business Online will conclude on July 31, 2021 when Microsoft retires Skype for Business Online. Existing tenants using Skype for Business Online can continue using it until they can transition to Teams.

New customers won’t get a choice as Microsoft will only configure new Office 365 tenants with Teams from September 1, 2019. New tenants with fewer than 500 seats have been unable to choose Skype for Business Online since last year.

To be fair to Microsoft, they have made huge progress in developing Teams to be able to take over from Skype for Business Online since the 2017 announcement. All the data indicates that Teams is obviously successful with customers, with over 19 million monthly active users in over 500,000 organizations. Now that a firm retirement date is set for Skype for Business Online, we can expect to see that number grow fast.

Feature List in Teams Expands All the Time

The list of new features delivered in Teams since 2017 is staggering and Microsoft is lining up to add the last remaining set of features needed to enable customers to make the move, including dynamic 911, shorter retention periods (down to one day) for compliance records, and better interoperability between Teams and Skype consumer (due in the first quarter of 2020). That last point mightn’t seem important, but it’s critical for many companies who want to connect with partners and customers who don’t have Teams.

Preparing for Retirement

As the retirement date for Skype for Business Online approaches, you can expect:

We have a whole chapter (16) covering the transition from Skype for Business Online in the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook. You should think about reading it!