Microsoft Skype for Business Online will retire on July 31, 2021

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Microsoft announced that Microsoft Skype for Business Online will retire on July 31st, 2021 as Microsoft Teams has become the core communications client for Microsoft Office 365.

Note: Neither Skype consumer nor Skype for Business Server will be affected by the retirement of the Skype for Business Online service. Current Skype for Business Online customers will experience no change in the service up to the retirement date.

To align with this schedule, support for the integration of third-party party Audio Conferencing Providers (ACP) into Skype for Business Online has been extended to July 31, 2021, with limited support for remaining active tenants to allow additional time for transition. This is an update in the ACP timeline that was originally announced back in April of 2018.

Please find the official announcement and some helpful guidance here: https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Microsoft-Teams-Blog/Skype-for-Business-Online-to-Be-Retired-in-2021/ba-p/777833.

Microsoft Skype for Business Online Plan 2 Standalone offers discontinue

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Effective July 1, 2019, Microsoft will no longer sell Microsoft Skype for Business Online Plan 2 Standalone offers to new or existing customers, as Microsoft continues to help customers transition to Microsoft Teams.

Customers who have purchased the Microsoft Skype for Business Online Plan 2 Standalone will have access to the service until the end of their contract. Those who have access to Microsoft Skype for Business Online Plan 2 on one of the Microsoft Office 365 suites will not be affected by this change.

Microsoft encourages customers to upgrade to an Microsoft Office 365 or Microsoft 365 suite to benefit from Microsoft Teams, the primary client for messaging, meetings and calling in Microsoft Office 365.

For those customers still on Microsoft Skype for Business Online, Microsoft Skype for Business Online Plan 2 will still be available in the following Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft 365 suites:

  • Microsoft Office 365 Business Essentials
  • Microsoft Office 365 Business Premium
  • Microsoft Office 365 E1
  • Microsoft Office 365 E3
  • Microsoft Office 365 E5
  • Microsoft 365 E3
  • Microsoft 365 E5

Microsoft Office 365 Meeting Room per Device Licenses available

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Microsoft announced the availability of the Microsoft Office 365 Meeting Room per Device Licenses. This licenses cover a Skype for Business device used in a conference room which is not dedicated to a single user and requires a separate telephone number, like a typical conferencing phone. These licenses are available in the following programs: Enterprise Agreement (EA), Enterprise Subscription Agreement (EAS), Worldwide Government Partner, Enrollment for Education Solutions and School. Microsoft Office 365 Meeting Room per Device Licenses without Conference Licenses are offered for the countries which do not offer Audio Conference services.

Microsoft Office Server 2019 On-Premises Licenses available

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Microsoft announced that – effective November 1st, 2018 – Microsoft Office Server 2019 On-Premises Licenses will be available. Hence, the previous Office Server version licenses will then be removed from the pricelists.

Impacted Product Families:

  • Microsoft Exchange Enterprise Client Access License (CAL)
  • Microsoft Exchange Server – Enterprise
  • Microsoft Exchange Server – Standard
  • Microsoft Exchange Standard CAL
  • Microsoft Project Server
  • Microsoft Project Server CAL
  • Microsoft Skype for Business Server
  • Microsoft Skype for Business Server Enterprise CAL
  • Microsoft Skype for Business Server Plus CAL
  • Microsoft Skype for Business Server Standard CAL
  • Microsoft SharePoint Enterprise CAL
  • Microsoft SharePoint Server
  • Microsoft SharePoint Standard CAL

Microsoft Skype for Business Online Plan 1 Retirement

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Microsoft announces that Skype for Business Online Plan 1 will be retired, effective August 1, 2018.

Current customers have many transition paths for their users to maintain Plan 1 functionality or higher, such as:

  • Skype for Business Online Plan 2
  • Office 365 Business, Business Essentials, Business Premium, F1, E1, E3, E5 (or Microsoft 365 Business, F1, E1, E3, E5).

Further information on the transition paths can be found here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/partner-center/skype-retiring

Microsoft Common Area Phone available

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Microsoft has announced the Common Area Phone Device Subscription License (DSL). Common Area Phone is a Device License intended for phones that are deployed as standalone, shared devices in locations such as break rooms, reception areas, shop floors etc. It is a standalone license with no purchase prerequisites.
The Microsoft Common Area Phone Device Subscription License combines two sets of capabilities:

  • Skype for Business Online Plan 2 including presence, instant messaging and in this context more important: conferencing
  • Phone System, which was previously known as Cloud PBX, and allows customers to replace their on-premises Private Branch Exchange (PBX) with a cloud-based system

This license is available in Enterprise Agreement, Enterprise Agreement Subscription, Enrollment for Education Solutions, and Government Community Cloud.