A New Skype for Business Server Version IS Coming!

Permit me a little celebration.

dog playing photo

Mary Jo Foley over at ZDNet broke some wonderful news. There is still life in Skype for Business Server after all!

Mary Jo’s article: What’s Next for Microsoft’s Skype for Business Unified Communications Products – ZDNet

(She also linked to my Microsoft 365 post in the article. Many thanks for that!)

The Source: A Microsoft Ignite Session Listing

Mary Jo found an MS Ignite 2017 session discussion appearing to reference a ‘next version’ of Skype for Business: Plan your UC refresh correctly: Skype for Business on-premises vNext

MS Ignite Session Page

The MS Ignite conference occurs in mid-September. Major announcements of new (or updated) Microsoft products are not unusual.

So it appears Skype for Business Server will indeed get a new version! Possibly by end of year, but I’m thinking early 2018 is more likely.

Now, I’ve seen the term ‘vNext/v.Next’ a few times. Always attached to a Microsoft product, of course…ASP.NET vNext, SQL Server v.Next. What does it mean in this case?

I’ve come across a few general definitions. One is simply that “vNext” is a name given to a product when it’s in pre-release mode. “We don’t have a version number for this yet, so it’s ‘vNext.’” Another was that vNext referenced the latest version of .NET used to develop the apps. I tend to lean more toward the first definition—shorthand for a version number not finalized just yet.

Which means we’ll all have to wait & see what the next Skype for Business Server name will be. Personally, I hope it’s the most obvious choice – “Skype for Business Server 2017” or “2018.”

(Having to say ‘Skype for Business on-premises vNext’ would get old fast!)

What Else is Out There?

I looked at other Skype for Business-related sessions planned for Ignite. Here is the full list. MS Ignite Session Catalog: “Skype for Business”.

Unsurprisingly, most reference Office 365. Video interop, large-scale deployments, bots, etc. All useful, of course, but not referencing Skype for Business Server.

Curiously, some of the Skype for Business Online services will have name changes too.

  • Cloud PBX becomes “Microsoft’s Phone System” – Good idea. Easier to understand for non-technical users.
  • PSTN Calling becomes “Calling Plan” – Bad idea. Easy to confuse with Dial Plans.

I also looked around on the Web for more instances of the new name. What do you know, I came up with a post from our friend Tom Arbuthnot… Microsoft Ignite 2017 Session details Live: 34 Session related to Skype for Business including Server vNext

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