back to article Skype for Biz users: Go watch nature vids. Microsoft wants you to get good at migration

Microsoft appears to have edged Skype for Business closer to the edge of a cliff. Redmond's latest Skype for Business roadmap landed late last week [PDF] to not much fanfare, and it's nudging users to start plotting their migration to "Teams", Redmond's tied-to-Office replacement for Skype. As we wrote last year, Skype for …

  1. theOtherJT

    Does Microsoft have ADHD or something?

    I honestly can't keep track of their product line these days. It seems that not a month goes by where they've not rebranded, or deprecated, or otherwise changed something that we literally just finished migrating TO after the last pointless change. I'm so utterly sick of spending more time migrating from platform to platform than I actually get to spend using the damn things.

  2. Mayday Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Re: Does Microsoft have ADHD or something?

    Indeed. It would seem that in a variety of O365 deployments I've seen this things called MS Delve and Sway (and others) and I have NFI what they are for. I also dont care enough to click on them and see because no doubt they will either annoy/confuse me or (most likely) try to migrate from something else and break everything in the process.

  3. joed Silver badge

    Re: Does Microsoft have ADHD or something?

    It's not just ADHD. It's also jealousy, of Slack. Hence another copycat service.

    The bad thing is that now everyone in corp environment will have to get used to this kitchen and sink of communicators. I was hoping that stumbling into it once was the only time I had a "pleasure" to use it.

  4. joed Silver badge

    Re: Does Microsoft have ADHD or something?

    Delve - the tool that discloses information about documents your management is working on (but they lacked imagination to make private).

    Sway - PowerPoint slops.

    O365 offers growing number of equally useful apps being created solely to justify costs of subscription (and price increases over time).

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Does Microsoft have ADHD or something?

    Lets not forget Yammer, MS's Facebook wannabee.

    Actually on second thoughts, Yes lets forget it I think MS have too...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Does Microsoft have ADHD or something?

    "It's also jealousy, of Slack. Hence another copycat service."

    But done rather better. So Slack have had to take to copying features from Teams like threads. And once fully integrated with Skype there will be no comparison - Teams will be miles ahead.

    I fully expect them to merge in Yammer too.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Does Microsoft have ADHD or something?

    Yes, Microsoft has ADHD... and also an corporate identity crisis.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Does Microsoft have ADHD or something?

    I think this was Microsoft's Facebook wannabe.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/07/microsoft-socl-close/

    It failed of course, but hey, Microsoft can afford to burn the money. Just feel sorry for those who invested time and money into anything from Microsoft. Windows phones, Zune, Kinect, Silverlight.

  9. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    Re: Does Microsoft have ADHD or something?

    Meanwhile, another division of MS is cautioning business users about how technology is causing reduction in performance and productivity (and probably offering consultation services to mitigate it)

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Does Microsoft have ADHD or something?

    Don't forget planner, that doesn't integrate properly with Outlook's calendar.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Does Microsoft have ADHD or something?

    If your leadership has bought into the MS ecosystem (_all in_, including a license for every living soul working for the company), Delve and Sway, as well as Teams, can provide huge benefits. The key is to get over the "its so intuitive a child can do it" philosophy that strangles most user education initiatives. Getting your money's worth out of O365 can't be done on "intuition" alone, and headstrong leaders who have never bothered to look study the materials MS has produced to aid users in using them are a significant factor in productivity losses during adoption.

  12. A Non e-mouse Silver badge
    FAIL

    Infrastructure people (voice, data, storage, etc) tend to be a conservative bunch. They much prefer evolution over revolution. (i.e. upgrades rather than migrations).

    Once more, we have another reimplementation to perform if you're using Microsoft for your voice platform.

    Just remind me why we should stick to Microsoft for voice?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Just remind me why we should stick to Microsoft for voice?"

    Way lower TCO and far better integration and a much better product suite offering than the main competitor Cisco? And better CODEC technology too.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ""Just remind me why we should stick to Microsoft for voice?"|"

    I'm sorry, you seem to be missing some 9's off your up time.

  15. J J Carter Silver badge
    Windows

    Excellent

    In my 4,000 seat shoppe I'm deprecating SharePoint teamsites and Google Docs in favour of Teams. Unifying comms and dropping the SfB client is all good.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Excellent

    Ha ha! at work IT has just moved us onto sharepoint.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Excellent

    "Ha ha! at work IT has just moved us onto sharepoint."

    I highly doubt that clusterfuck was their idea.

  18. mark l 2 Silver badge

    Just what businesses want, to have to keep migrating to new products when MS get bored and decide that they will release something new to replace the thing that was new only a couple of years ago.

  19. thondwe

    Just something for a phone call?

    Home there's an easy way after all this to just make a VOIP call with having to create a SharePoint/Team/Group/OneNote thing...

  20. Tim 11

    Good Riddance to bad rubbish

    We're a long way from Teams being good enough to replace proper skype, but there are some areas where it works well. SfB on the other hand has never been usable or stable enough to be a viable product.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Good Riddance to bad rubbish

    "SfB on the other hand has never been usable or stable enough to be a viable product."

    How very wrong you are. Many very large companies already use it for everything messaging / VC / desk phone / conference calls. Can't remember the last time I saw a client crash - maybe back at RTM several years ago?

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Good Riddance to bad rubbish

    As one of those large companies, I couldn't agree with you less.

    We migrated to SfB about 3 years ago (large US corp, 70k+ employees), along with O365 etc.

    After 3 years we still have our AT&T conf call numbers, due to the unreliability of SfB and other limitations.

    On the rare occasion where we have a SfB specific meeting invite, we always use the dial in numbers, rather than SfB app itself, as the audio quality, reliability etc is just terrible via the SfB app.

    The sooner SfB dies, the better, bear in mind SfB is just a rebranded Lync from years back, last time I checked (admittedly a couple of years ago now), MS hadn't even bothered to change the exe name of the desktop client, it was still lync.exe.

  23. J. Cook Bronze badge

    Re: Good Riddance to bad rubbish

    Complete agreement.

    About the *only* thing that changed between Lync 2013 and SfB was the name; everything else remained the same. Hell, the SfB client even cottens on if you are trying to connect to a Lync server and adjusts itself appropriately.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Good Riddance to bad rubbish

    >>After 3 years we still have our AT&T conf call numbers, due to the unreliability of SfB and other limitations.

    Then you should fire whoever runs it and get someone competent in place. I have used SfB in several very large companies (tens of thousands of clients) and it has always worked perfectly. In particular the audio quality from Microsoft's wideband codecs - especially wen used over poor network links - beats pretty much anything else on the market.

  25. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

    Re: Good Riddance to bad rubbish

    I have used SfB in several very large companies (tens of thousands of clients) and it has always worked perfectly.

    I've been using Lync / SfB for several years, and while it's better than some of the competitors,[1] it's certainly not perfect. The client isn't even a competently-written Windows application - Microsoft still haven't fixed the stupid focus-stealing bug, for example, and even when it doesn't manage to steal the focus, it will intermittently flash on the taskbar, which is damned annoying.

    It also loses track of preferred audio devices. Real Skype does a better job of that.

    [1] We officially switched not that long ago to Fuze, which I've been running in parallel with real Skype and Lync, and god, is that thing full of misfeatures and terrible design decisions. And it does not deal well with large-latency networks.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Good Riddance to bad rubbish

    Quote: "Then you should fire whoever runs it and get someone competent in place."

    How are we meant to fire Microsoft?

    MS supplied software (installed via O365) running on a MS supplied OS (Win 10 pro), connected to a 100MB/s+ Ethernet LAN (we only use WiFi in meeting rooms), with fibre internet into the building. And it still doesn't work well!

    Other than opening a few ports up on the corporate Firewall, there isn't much that we, the 'company' do ourselves, the rest is down to MS.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Good Riddance to bad rubbish

    Maybe a bit of QoS would help with your issue?

  28. M_W

    Without meaning to be picky

    This is old news - this doc isn't much different to the one they previously published at the end of October 2017.

    Has El Reg only just picked up on it?

  29. se99paj

    Lets be honest the migration from Lync to Skype for Business was nothing more than a software update to change the branding - If you thought that was a major migration no wonder your worried about Teams.

    What's the future for Skype for Business on-premise?

    We're already using an on-premise Skype for Business instance but won't be collaborating in the cloud anytime soon - Teams is O365 only.

  30. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    Does anyone know...

    ..why MS bought Skype in the first place?

    From here, it looks like they bought a customer base and threw away the product.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Does anyone know...

    Teams is Skype.

    Ignoring Skype for Business (which is basically the old Lync app), Teams itself was built on top of the next gen Skype platform, that is the same platform in use for normal Skype users.

    So the Skype tech hasn't been thrown away, it's been heavily updated, and the business tool for using this is now Teams.

    Skype for Business, other than the name, never had anything to do with Skype itself, it was just a rebrand from Lync. It never even used the Skype platform, hence why someone using Skype for Business desktop client, still showed as off-line for someone using the O365 Skype, as they never integrated the two platforms together properly.

    All they are basically doing here is retiring the old Lync platform (Skype for Business), and telling business users to use Teams instead, which actually does use real Skype.

  32. cgigate

    Re: Does anyone know...

    No, the "Team" has nothing to do with Lync/SfB.

    Teams itself is NOT built on top of the next gen Skype platform.

    it is built on nowhere = DoA (Dead On Arrive)....

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Deploying Lync was the source of a lot of pain for the admins i know who got to do it. The SfB over Lync makeover was functional enough, but it didn't win any UI design awards with my users. Teams, on the other hand, benefits from shamelessly lifting its basic design from mashing up Discord and Slack (my initial impression was that it looked a lot like Discord, while working more like Slack). Now that both Discord and Slack both have voice and video chat it only makes sense that MS would go full speed ahead towards replacing SfB with Teams. There are lots of other serious benefits too though: Teams is much better integrated with other O365 products. While a lot of that is still clunky (you can embed a link for OneNote, but clicking it will do the desktop app equivalent of an iframe into the web version of the app, or at least that's what it looks like), some of it (like the automatic creating of AD groups and SharePoint team sites) is seamless. Teams started out looking like Redmond's answer to Slack, but they've been way past that for a while. The SfB to Teams conversion is one MS move I'm actually looking forward to seeing completed. Just wish we didn't have to experience the unnecessary infrastructure carnage along the way.

  34. Bob C McKenzie

    Anybody using ZOOM for video/audio conference and team work. It rocks. We’ve just moved from Skype to it (not the dreaded Skype for Business BTW) and the signal quality, user interface and ease of use has truly impressed an old cynic: I go back to VNC and WebEx

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