While the news around Skype for Business is still fairly new, more information regarding the new product is coming available. The most noticable at this point is the news that Skype For Business is not requiring any new hardware. So what does this mean?
In-place-upgrade Skype For Business
For the last editions (OCS to Lync, Lync 2010 to Lync 2013), the process of upgrading was a side-by-side upgrade. This meant you had to buy new hardware and that the hardware requirements had also gone up, more CPU power required etc. Although this is a more expensive way of upgrading, it is also a pleasant upgrade path as you’re not messing around with production servers and can built the new deployment besides the current one.
With the new in-place-upgrade path from Lync to Skype For Business, this is now changing. You do not have to install any new hardware and a “simple” upgrade should do the trick. This also means that the upgrade sounds more like a service pack and not a major new release.
With the upgrade to Skype For Business it seems to me that this is more a rebranding version and not many changes in functionality. I personnaly think that Microsoft will focus heavily on the integration with the normal Skype, conferencing etc. and enabling the SILK codec for all audio traffic as a primary codec.