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Skype for Business Shutdown Frequently Asked Questions

Why is this change happening?

Microsoft has replaced Skype for Business with Microsoft Teams, which has instant messaging and meeting functionality like Skype for Business, a more modern interface, more connections with other applications, and many additional features.

When is Skype for Business shutting down?

Microsoft is turning the service off completely on July 31, 2021. On June 30, CIT changed settings so meetings scheduled in Skype for Business will occur in Teams instead and no new meetings can be scheduled in Skype for Business. Instant messaging is no longer available in Skype for Business and the app suggests Teams instead.

What's a recommended replacement for Skype for Business?

Microsoft suggests transitioning to their replacement product, Microsoft Teams. Depending on what you use Skype for Business for, Zoom or other communication or collaboration tools used in your unit might also work for you. Teams is suggested because it's part of Office 365 and has many similarities with Skype for Business, but if you prefer something else, feel free to use it. The important thing is that you and the people you communicate with find an app that will work for you other than Skype for Business.

How do I get Microsoft Teams?

Many Cornell computers already have it installed as part of Microsoft Office. If you don't and have administrator rights on your computer or device, you can download Teams apps from Microsoft. If your computer is part of CIT managed services, you may be able to find it to install under Software Center on Windows or Self Service on a Mac.

How do I learn more about Microsoft Teams?

Visit IT@Cornell's site about Microsoft Teams to get started and once you've installed your Teams app, ask questions at Teams Q&A.  

I want to review instant message history. How can I do that?

See Microsoft's instructions, Find a Previous Skype for Business Conversation. You also may be able to browse to a folder called Conversation History in your Outlook application or Outlook on the Web.

I have a Skype account outside Cornell. Is this affected by the change?

Microsoft has two separate services, Skype for Business, which is shutting down, and consumer Skype, accessed through Consumer Skype is not connected with Skype for Business and will continue to work as it does now. Cornell does not provide support for consumer Skype. 

I use Skype for Business to connect with people who use consumer Skype. What should I do?

Microsoft Teams can connect you with people who use consumer Skype in a way similar to how Skype for Business has. For more information, see Use Microsoft Teams to Connect with People on Consumer Skype.

If I create a team in Microsoft Teams, can I provide someone outside Cornell with guest access?

Yes. See Add a Guest from Outside Cornell.

Can someone who doesn't have Teams get it for free?

Yes. Microsoft offers Teams Free.

If you have a question that wasn't answered here and have Teams, you can ask in Teams Q&A channels for general Teams discussion and Skype for Business Shutdown. If you're unable to get to these because you don't have Teams, contact the IT Service Desk.

About this Article

Last updated: 

Friday, October 15, 2021 - 9:54am

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