Microsoft aims to improve connectivity between its own programs in 2014. At the Lync Conference on Monday, Microsoft announced that Skype and Lync will now enjoy increased compatibility. The company also said that it plans to release an Android Lync app in June 2014.

Although Skype and Lync will now work together, Microsoft stopped short of complete integration of the two services. Microsoft said that it prefers to keep the two services separate because they are aimed at different consumer groups. While Skype is more of a consumer-based service, Lync is optimized for business users. Now, Skype and Lync contacts can see each other and video conference, but they still cannot share documents like Power Point presentations because Skype doesn't have that feature.

Obviously, Microsoft would prefer if you used Lync since you actually have to pay for the service every month. Skype compatibility won't offer the full experience and Microsoft seems to think that if the user is business-minded, he will switch over to Lync once they realize what they are missing.

"We will bring these [Skype and Lync] experiences even closer over time to make it easier for people to communicate, both at work and in life," Gurdeep Singh Pall, the corporate vice president for Lync and Skype engineering said in a company blog post.

Giovanni Mezgec, the general manager of product marketing for Skype and Lync stated that the process will be gradual, but the ultimate goal is to unify the products rather than use one to replace the other completely. The main objective for Microsoft is to get Lync and Skype to as many users as possible. 

"We feel we're at the moment at, where we're delivering with video, and the integration of Skype and Lync, that we're ready to take another step forward for the next five years," Mezgec said. "And if I look at the past...we used to call this vision unified communications. That was because we had all this different communications modalities-telephony, conferencing, email-that we wanted to bring [to the user]. The next step is called universal communications. That means everyone, on any device, should be able to call our network or on the PSTN network."

That's where the Android Lync app comes in. If Microsoft wants Lync to be on any device, it needs to tap into the huge Android device market. Microsoft said it plans to launch a Lync Android app in June of 2014. Rumors that Microsoft also aims to bring Office apps like Lync to iOS devices, too, remain unsubstantiated.

ⓒ 2021 All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.