Two years ago, Microsoft announced that it is retiring Skype for Business Online on July 31, 2021, that is today. It tapped Teams as the successor to the communication tool, and urged organizations to migrate to the company's latest offering as soon as possible. The Redmond tech giant also stated that the move communicates its confidence in Teams. As such, Skype for Business Online is being retired today.
For context, Microsoft has been strongly pushing Teams for both business and consumer use-cases recently. In fact, the software even has deeper integration with Windows 11, and is currently being tested by Insiders. The firm has been planning the migration from Skype for Business Online to Teams since October 2017, with the latter also achieving feature parity in August 2018.
Microsoft says that since it originally announced the retirement date in 2019, it has conducted hundreds of workshops and millions of transitions with customers. Organizations that have not yet upgraded to Teams Only mode will be offered Microsoft-assisted upgrades, which will begin in August 2021. Until their assisted upgrade is complete, they are free to use Skype for Business Online. Once they have been moved to Teams Only mode, they will not be able to revert the change.
For companies which use Skype for Business Online only, a tenant policy change will be applied to shift all users to Teams Only mode. Meanwhile, those in hybrid environments will also be migrated to the same mode but Skype for Business Server users will remain unaffected and on-premises. Microsoft says that most organizations will be transitioned to Teams Only mode within 24 hours of initiating the assisted upgrade process.
Microsoft has published guidance over here for those interested in finding out how to move meetings data and contacts from Skype for Business Online to Teams, among other things. It is important to note that after today, Skype for Business Online will not be accessible, but other related components such as Skype consumer service, Skype for Business Server, and the Skype for Business Online variant running on the China Sovereign Clouds Instance will continue to work as usual.