This article explains the difference between Skype, Skype for Business, and how to link an existing Skype account to a Microsoft Account to communicate with the combined “Skype” user base.
Microsoft bought Skype $8.5bn in 2011, and its success at embedding Skype in its Office 365 and consumer products mean legacy users from the pre 2011 takeover have some housekeeping to do.
Skype and Skype for Business are separate products. Skype for Business users enjoy premium services which delivers telephony and meetings direct to Outlook. Microsoft recently completed a project enabling Skype for Business users to communicate with Skype users who use the consumer “as-is” offering.
Skype with “Skype” user names need to link their Skype accounts with either a new or existing Skype account to be visible to the combined Skype/Skype for Business Community.
Linking an existing Skype account to a Microsoft account might seem like a pointless task. However, Office 365 users increasingly turn to Skype for Business to conduct their telephony, and with Office 365’s newly released Cloud PBX service, which threatens to stand conventional office telephone systems on their head, it pays to bring your legacy Skype account and its credentials into Skype’s new “Directory”.
Even if you are minded to keep your existing Skype credentials, bear in mind that Skype is a Microsoft product, and in the same way that iTunes is little use without an Apple ID, Skype users who rely on existing old Skype credentials will eventually have to adopt Microsoft accounts to maintain Skype accounts in any event.
How to link a Skype account to a Microsoft account
Linking your Skype and Microsoft accounts means you can use the same sign-in details for Skype that you use for all of your Microsoft devices and services. Plus, if you forget your password it’s easier to recover it.
You can only link one Skype account with one Microsoft account, so if you have more than one you need to choose which ones to link.
To link your accounts:
- Start Skype, type your Microsoft account email address and password and then click Sign in.
- Click Yes to confirm that you already have a Skype account.
- Enter your Skype Name and password, then click the arrow.
- Your Microsoft and Skype accounts are now linked. Next time you sign in, just use your Microsoft account email address and password.
If you have more than one Skype or Microsoft account and you have linked the wrong ones, you can easily unlink them, and then link the Skype and Microsoft accounts you want.
If you do not already have a Microsoft Account, there is an option to create a new one. You can read more about what Microsoft Accounts provide more broadly here.