Like many of you, I received an announcement from Microsoft yesterday. They’re shuttering Messenger and moving accounts to Skype by March 15.
A few people on Twitter this morning asked the same question I had: “Does this mean Skype will replace Lync?”
First off, no. I don’t think it does. Lync isn’t going anywhere – we have a brand-new version to play with right now! So don’t worry too much. Instead, let’s consider where this move leads.
Merging Messenger’s contacts & functions into Skype suggests finality. It suggests that that’s what they plan to use for consumer-level IM from now on. Which is an overall good thing – easier to support one app across platforms. Especially one like Skype, with its huge user base and wide feature set.
But where does that leave Lync users? Is their app under threat?
Again, not really. If Microsoft follows the streamlining pattern, there are 4 possible courses they could take with Lync and Skype:
1. Skype replaces Lync.
Dumb move. Microsoft won’t do this. It would ruin their Lync base among larger businesses.
2. Lync absorbs Skype.
Possible, but unlikely. And that’s because of the move from Messenger to Skype. It would mean users have to move apps twice!
Microsoft is already having trouble with migrating contacts on THIS move. The comments on this Engadget article testify to it: Microsoft retiring Messenger on March 15th, wants you to use Skype instead – Engadget
3. A new Lync-Skype hybrid app replaces both platforms.
4. Lync and Skype stay separate, but interoperate.
The most likely course. MS has too much invested in building Lync Server as a business communications platform to abandon its desktop app. This approach also allows Skype to keep growing among consumer-level platforms.
I’m supported here by “Lync Bridge“, my name for the coming Lync app for Windows 8 and Windows RT.
It will federate with Skype…but it’s still Lync. And both will work on mobile.
Merging Messenger users into Skype makes more sense than the other way around. Plus it means that Skype will continue to evolve as part of the Microsoft software family.
In the meantime, Lync users have Lync 2013 to play with. And Lync Bridge (Lync for Windows 8/RT) to look forward to. So let’s not worry ourselves.
Do any of our readers use Skype AND Lync? Please leave a comment or email me. I’d like to ask a couple questions.