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Microsoft Surfaces Uncertain Plans for Skype for Business Server 'VNext' --


Microsoft surfaces uncertain plans for Skype for Business Server ‘VNext’

Microsoft announced on Monday that it has no details to share about Skype for Business Server “vNext.” This is a “subscription only” version of the product designed for customer premises installations.

The announcement suggests that Microsoft is currently assessing customer demand for subscription-only server offerings. Organizations with current Skype for Business Server offerings should plan their migration to Skype for Business Server 2019 to best position themselves for the vNext upgrade, the announcement suggests.

Here is Microsoft’s statement on this:

At Ignite 2020, we announced plans for versionless subscriptions for our on-premises solutions, which we call “vNext.” We continue to assess customer needs for this opportunity and remain committed to supporting Skype for Business Server beyond October 14, 2025, but we do not have additional details to share at this time. Customers who wish to remain on-premises should plan to upgrade to Skype for Business Server 2019. Because this version offers the furthest window for mainstream services, the smoothest upgrade to ‘vNext’, and the easiest path to migrate users to Teams in the future.

The statement that Microsoft is “committing to support Skype for Business Server beyond October 14, 2025” is a bit strange. Because according to this Microsoft Lifecycle, his latest product, Skype for Business Server 2019, will end support on the same day. Support page. Perhaps Microsoft’s statement just obliquely confirms that the VNext product will actually be released.

Microsoft has shortened the extended support period for Skype for Business Server 2019 by approximately two years. On October 14th, 2025, we will reach the end of support product milestone at the same time as Skype for Business Server 2015.

It’s unclear why Microsoft made this announcement, but a VNext subscription-only Skype for Business Server offering is expected later this year. The VNext subscription-only Skype for Business Server product will likely fall behind its estimated 2022 delivery milestone.

Such schedule slips have already been announced for upcoming vNext subscription-only Exchange Server offerings. The vNext Exchange Server product is expected in 2025, Microsoft announced in June.

Other server products such as SharePoint Server and Project Server have already moved to Microsoft’s subscription-only VNext model. In this model, an organization runs server software on its infrastructure, but pays Microsoft monthly for that privilege, per user. Microsoft announced this popular move to vNext for its application server products in 2020.

At least with VNext licenses for SharePoint Server, you also need to pay for server licenses and client access licenses. Subscriptions are maintained by annual renewal of Software Assurance (also required) as described here by Microsoft.

About the author

Kurt Mackie is a Senior News Producer in the Converge360 Group at 1105 Media.