Permit me a little celebration.
Mary Jo Foley over at ZDNet broke some wonderful news. There is still life in Skype for Business Server after all!
(She also linked to my Microsoft 365 post in the article. Many thanks for that!)
The Source: A Microsoft Ignite Session Listing
Mary Jo found an MS Ignite 2017 session discussion appearing to reference a ‘next version’ of Skype for Business: Plan your UC refresh correctly: Skype for Business on-premises vNext
The MS Ignite conference occurs in mid-September. Major announcements of new (or updated) Microsoft products are not unusual.
So it appears Skype for Business Server will indeed get a new version! Possibly by end of year, but I’m thinking early 2018 is more likely.
Now, I’ve seen the term ‘vNext/v.Next’ a few times. Always attached to a Microsoft product, of course…ASP.NET vNext, SQL Server v.Next. What does it mean in this case?
I’ve come across a few general definitions. One is simply that “vNext” is a name given to a product when it’s in pre-release mode. “We don’t have a version number for this yet, so it’s ‘vNext.'” Another was that vNext referenced the latest version of .NET used to develop the apps. I tend to lean more toward the first definition—shorthand for a version number not finalized just yet.
Which means we’ll all have to wait & see what the next Skype for Business Server name will be. Personally, I hope it’s the most obvious choice – “Skype for Business Server 2017” or “2018.”
(Having to say ‘Skype for Business on-premises vNext’ would get old fast!)
What Else is Out There?
I looked at other Skype for Business-related sessions planned for Ignite. Here is the full list.
MS Ignite Session Catalog: “Skype for Business”.
Unsurprisingly, most reference Office 365. Video interop, large-scale deployments, bots, etc. All useful, of course, but not referencing Skype for Business Server.
Curiously, some of the Skype for Business Online services will have name changes too.
- Cloud PBX becomes “Microsoft’s Phone System” – Good idea. Easier to understand for non-technical users.
- PSTN Calling becomes “Calling Plan” – Bad idea. Easy to confuse with Dial Plans.
I also looked around on the Web for more instances of the new name. What do you know, I came up with a post from our friend Tom Arbuthnot…
Microsoft Ignite 2017 Session details Live: 34 Session related to Skype for Business including Server vNext
…who just yesterday replied to a comment, agreeing with the notion that “Skype for Business vNext” will be the next on-prem Skype for Business Server.
Whatever the Version Name, More Skype for Business is Great News!
The MS Ignite expo will take place in Orlando, FL from September 25-29. If you already have tickets, I’m jealous, and hereby request you share whatever notes taken relating to Skype for Business.
I can’t make it (much to my disappointment). But as soon as I can find out more about the next Skype for Business Server version, you’ll see it here!