Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business thoughts and news

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Tom Arbuthnot MCSM Communications

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Microsoft Teams New Features and App Creation Studio, Office 2019 C2R and Windows 10 only and SfBS Debugging Tools Update

Published 04/02/2018 - 0 Comments

There is lots going on in the world of Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business. Here is a roundup of everything you need to know.

New Features added to Microsoft Teams

Lots of new features have been added, including:

  • Command Box
  • Cards from Apps in Team Chat
  • Personal Apps Space
  • Who Bot
  • App Store for Microsoft Teams
  • “Anonymous Join” – anyone outside your organisation can now join a Teams meeting
  • iOS apps got the ability to “share from other apps into Microsoft Teams

For details check out:

5 New Microsoft Teams Features: Command Box, Cards from Apps in Chat, Personal Apps Space, Who Bot, App Store – Tom Talks

What’s new in Microsoft Teams – January update – Anne Michels  on Tech Community

The Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams roadmap got some minor update to reflect the released features.


Microsoft Teams App Studio (Preview)

Microsoft Teams App Studio (Preview) makes it easy to start creating or integrating your own service, whether you develop custom apps for your enterprise or SaaS applications for teams around the world. Teams App Studio was created to simplify and streamline the process of creating real apps.


Getting Started with Microsoft Teams App Studio (Preview) –

Microsoft Teams App Studio: Video Walkthrough – Tom Morgan’s blog


Skype for Business 2019 Client will be Click to Run Only and require Windows 10, Skype for Business Server 2019 will require Server 2016/SQL 2016 or higher


This was already announced at Microsoft Ignite in 2017, and I’ve talked about it previously. However it’s now hit the mainstream news sites as it was announced in a Microsoft blog, Office 2019 (including Skype for Business 2019 client) will be click to run and Windows 10 only.

  • Office 2019 will ship in H2 of 2018. Previews of the new apps and servers will start shipping in the second quarter of 2018.
  • Office 2019 apps will be supported on:
    • Any supported Windows 10 SAC release
    • Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2018
    • The next LTSC release of Windows Server
  • The Office 2019 client apps will be released with Click-to-Run installation technology only. We will not provide MSI as a deployment methodology for Office 2019 clients. We will continue to provide MSI for Office Server products.
  • Office 2019 will provide 5 years of mainstream support and approximately 2 years of extended support. This is an exception to our Fixed Lifecycle Policy to align with the support period for Office 2016. Extended support will end 10/14/2025.
  • There is no change to the support term for existing versions of Office.

Also a reminder that Skype for Business Server 2019, due this year, will only support Windows Server 2016 and SQL Server 2016, Microsoft is getting tougher on Enterprises and trying to force them up to the latest and greatest platforms/versions. SfBS 2019 will not support in-place upgrades from down-level versions (not a feature I saw many enterprises use) but can be deployed alongside SfBS 2013 or SfBS 2015 (but not both, 2 major versions only in a topology).

Check out the Plan your UC refresh correctly: Skype for Business on-premises vNext Ignite 2017 video for more details. All pre-release information is subject to change.


Updated #Skype for Business Server 2015 Debugging Tools (Feb 2, 2018)

Thanks to Michael LaMontagne for spotting this one. Download here


Thanks to Greig Sheridan for the screenshot.

Also in case you missed it, Microsoft PSTN Calling Plans for Canada is now in preview, and the great Teams on Air has now been launched as a podcast, find it everywhere podcasts are available.

Did I miss something? Please let me know.

Tom Arbuthnot

Tom Arbuthnot

Principal Solutions Architect at Modality Systems
Tom Arbuthnot is Principal Solutions Architect at Unified Communications specialist Modality Systems. He is a Microsoft Certified Master and MVP, blogger, has a regular podcast with UCToday at and is a regular speaker at events including Microsoft TechEd and Ignite. He co-runs The Microsoft UC User Group London.

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