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skype-logo-feb_2012_rgb_500Microsoft will start using the Skype brand for video chat, voice calling and messaging for businesses, dropping its longtime Lync business communications brand and promising to give companies using the new “Skype for Business” the ability to make video calls with any Skype user.

The announcement this morning is the latest move to unify Microsoft’s communications businesses following the company’s $8.5 billion acquisition of Skype three years ago.

“In the first half of 2015, the next version of Lync will become Skype for Business with a new client experience, new server release and updates to the service in Office 365,” said Gurdeep Pall, Skype corporate vice president, in a post this morning. “We believe that Skype for Business will again transform the way people communicate by giving organizations reach to hundreds of millions of Skype users outside the walls of their business.

Microsoft says Skype for Business will keep all of the features of Lync, including integration with phone systems and content sharing.

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