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Make the best of both - Skype and Lync

Microsoft enabled Lync users to contact people on Skype using instant messaging, presence, and audio calling right from a user's contact list in 2013. Microsoft has now taken the next step by adding video calling between Lync 2013 and the latest Skype for Windows desktop client. Now Lync users can conduct everyday business and collaboration "face-to-face" with customers, partners and suppliers who use Skype. The video calling with Lync requires Skype for Windows desktop client version 7.0.x.100. This latest Skype is available for download in this below link:

http://www.skype.com/en/download-skype/skype-for-windows/downloading/

There are still some issues with some browser versions where an older client is downloaded.  If you've downloaded at the link above, and the version is not 7.0.x.100, please download using a different browser.

The video calling requires an up-to-date Lync 2013 client on either Android, iOS or Windows. It works today with the latest Skype for Windows desktop client only, and requires that the Skype user sign in with their Microsoft account.

Whether you're using Lync or Skype, it's an easy, familiar experience—you make the video call the same way you make any other call, with the same options for starting, stopping, re-sizing and maximizing video.

The best of both

Lync and Skype have always delivered phenomenal voice and video experiences to business and consumer users across a wide range of environments and network conditions. Now, Microsoft has taken the best of both to make both even better. This includes built-in security, with enterprise class encryption of both media and signaling. It includes high quality, scalable video using the industry standard H.264 SVC codec with the SILK audio codec as the default choice for Lync to Skype calls. (SILK is used for billions of minutes of audio calls every day, and provides a phenomenal balance between audio quality, bandwidth utilization and power consumption).

Provision for Lync-Skype connectivity

Based on policies administratively set in Lync Server, Lync and Skype users will be able to communicate using instant messaging, see each other's presence, and initiate audio and video calls. Lync-Skype connectivity is also a feature of Lync Online, and can be enabled for Lync Online customers from the Lync Administration Center within the Office 365 portal.

Here is a link that will help the administrators to provision connectivity:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn440173.aspx

Lync Skype connectivity.png 

Add a Skype contact to Lync 2013 

  1. From Lync, click Add a Contact, Add a Contact Not in My Organization.
  2. From the list of available contact providers, select Skype.
  3. In the IM Address field, enter the Microsoft Account (MSA) of the Skype user.
  4. In the Add to contact group dropdown box, select a contact group to add the user to.
  5. In the Set privacy relationship dropdown box, select the appropriate contact setting and then click OK.
  6. The user will now appear as a contact in Lync. Select the user, right-click the user name, and click See Contact Card to view the user properties. You can now establish an audio or video call with the newly added Skype user.

Add a Lync contact to Skype 

  1. Sign in to Skype. The Skype user must be logged into their Skype client with a Microsoft Account (MSA).
  2. Select the Add Contacts icon.
  3. Enter the SIP URI of the Lync user. For example, bob@contoso.com.
  4. When Skype finds the match in the search results, look for the word Lync below the Lync user's name. This indicates Skype successfully located the Lync client's SIP URI. Click the name.
  5. In the top right corner of the window, click Add to Contacts.
  6. The new contact is now added to your contact list, but you'll see a question mark instead of their status icon until they accept your request. When your new contact accepts your request, you will be able to see when they are online, initiate IM conversations, and make audio and video calls.

Here is a link for more guidance on using this Lync – Skype connectivity feature:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn440175.aspx

What's next…

Microsoft has promised that they will extend support to the Skype clients on additional platforms, starting with Android and iOS in the coming months. They will add support for SkypeIDs and make it easier to find and add contacts from the worldwide Skype directory when the next version of Lync becomes Skype for Business in the first half of 2015. These planned improvements to Lync Skype connectivity are just one example of how Skype for Business will keep and improve on all of the capabilities of Lync.

- Inputs from Office Blogs and TechNet

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