Microsoft Teams users to get federation with Skype consumer service

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It may have been a long time coming but, from next week, Microsoft will finally start rolling out a federation between its Teams platforms and its Skype consumer service.

The move follows a promise from Microsoft in July last year, when the tech giant finally confirmed that the company would be adding the ability for Teams and Skype consumer customers to communicate using chat and calling in the first calendar quarter of 2020.

Through the new Skype consumer federation feature, Teams users will now be able to chat with and call Skype users via their email addresses, and vice versa. Microsoft is currently advising Office 365/Microsoft 365 customers that the rollout of this feature will be completed by the end of April 2020.

However, while this move is good news for users of both platforms, Microsoft has noted that Teams-Skype interoperability will be disabled by default.

Those “admins who wish to enable this feature will need to go to Microsoft 365 admin centre > External access and Enable users to communicate with Skype users”, according to Microsoft official advise in the Office 365 Message Centre.

Since 2017, when Microsoft announced its Teams group-chat service would replace Skype for Business Online, customers have been asking about the cut-over deadline. Microsoft officials said in July last year that Skype for Business Online will be “retired” on July 31, 2021.