Microsoft is set to transform unified communications into "universal communications" following the connection of Lync and Skype for video calls.
Mirosoft corporate vice-president for Lync and Skype, Gurdeep Singh Pall, laid down his vision at the second annual Lync conference.
News and Slideshows on Microsoft
Since launching in 2010, Lync has had double-digit revenue growth every quarter, enabling it to become a $US1 billion business.
Singh Pall said the coming years would bring a dramatic transformation as Microsoft enabled people everywhere to take advantage of rich communications for all the important relationships in their work and personal lives.
"Consumers that already enjoy Skype will be able to easily reach businesses from the devices and services of their choice, and to take advantage of chat, voice, video and content sharing as they see fit.
"Professionals will be able to connect in the same ways with co-workers, business partners and customers around the globe, from the applications they use to run their businesses.
"We call this universal communications and we'll deliver it by focusing on the following strategies."
Last year, Microsoft connected Skype and Lync for audio calling and instant messaging.
Customers have already registered more than 10,000 unique domain names to use this service.
But Singh Pall said the company had taken it a step further by demonstrating video calling between Skype and Lync, making it possible for consumers and businesses everywhere to use video for nearly every conversation.
"We're also adding native interoperability between Lync and legacy video teleconference systems, helping customers achieve a continuing return on existing investments," he said.
Lync supports Windows Phone, iPhone, iPad, Android, Mac, and Windows, and last year it delivered updates every quarter on nearly all of these.
Singh said, on mobile, Microsoft had added voice and video over IP, meeting content viewing, anonymous meeting join, and, most recently, speech commands on Windows Phone.
"Today, we showed our Lync app for Android tablets for the first time, which will be available this winter," he said.
"Skype supports each of these platforms as well, and adds Xbox One and numerous smart TVs." According to Singh Pall, universal communications not only means delivering rich communications for businesses of all sizes, but also ensuring that anyone on Lync Online can reach anyone else, whether on Skype, Office 365, or the PSTN.
"Customers can take advantage of the full power of Lync Server in private Cloud offers from our global alliance partners, and have the option to purchase Office 365 who combine their own services with Lync Online," he said.