This week, at Ignite, we announced that the next version of Skype for Business (SfB) Server will be available in the second half of 2021, and will only be available with the purchase of a subscription license. Subscription entitles access to support, product updates, bug and security fixes. We will share additional details around the official name, pricing and availability, later.
The next version of SfB Server will support in-place upgrade from SfB Server 2019 for a period of approximately two years following release. This feature will allow the admin to easily upgrade existing servers running SfB Server 2019 to the subscription-based codebase without needing to add or change servers.
The next version of SfB Server will continue to support side-by-side deployment and migration from earlier versions of SfB, as has been the case over the last few releases, but we have increased the number of versions it can be installed alongside. Customers with Lync Server 2013, SfB Server 2015 or SfB Server 2019 can install the next version of SfB Server into their existing organization.
We highly recommended that customers with existing Lync Server 2013 or SfB Server 2015 deployments and who expect to keep on-premises servers in the future, should start planning and installing SfB Server 2019 today. Once the next version of SfB is released, they will then be able to perform an in-place upgrade to that version, making the move to SfB Server 2019 the last major upgrade they will ever need to do.
We will have more details on this change over the coming months.