Kurt DelBene, president of Microsoft's Business division, talked about the pending acquisition of Skype on Tuesday during the launch of Office 365.
"Office 365 will be the lead offering along with the client that should drive parity" with Skype, DelBene said to Seattle Times. "Client" refers to the desktop version of Office software for the PC.
"The ability to connect Lync users with Skype users is a huge opportunity for us," DelBene said. He also hinted that Microsoft plans to take presence, the status update in Lync (and Skype) that shows whether people are in a meeting or free based on their Outlook calendar, in the rest of Office.
"We've been investing in Office in taking presence and integrating it in Office. Any place I'm working in a document with somebody I should be able to see" whether that person is available, DelBene said.
DelBene said Microsoft is not saying when Skype features will be available in Office 365.
The new cloud service Office 365 will get quarterly software updates. Unlike most online banking websites, Office 365 will not go down for hours at a time for the software upgrade. "That's maddening," DelBene said.
DelBene also indicated that businesses should expect the next version of Office to start selling at the end of 2012.
"We're typically in a 2 1/2 year cycle," DelBene said Tuesday. Office 2010 started selling in June 2010, so that would make the next version of Office ready around December 2012.
[Via: Seattle Times]