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It's official, Skype for Business Online will be retired in 2021. Microsoft Teams group chat service will be replacing Skype for Business Online. Microsoft is looking to compete more directly with similar collaboration tools such as Slack and will offer a free version of Teams. However, when you dig further into the new Teams solution, it seems quite lackluster and will likely leave many small business owners with more to desire. For this reason I can no longer recommend Skype for Business or Microsoft Teams as a great small business phone solution.
One major reason I can no longer recommend this service is that in order to obtain a business phone number(s), you're required to purchase the Office 365 E3 package at $20/user/month with an annual commitment, PLUS purchase a plan add-on for the phone system itself. The price per user becomes astronomical for a small business or startup watching their cash flow closely. The complexity of purchasing Microsoft's subscriptions is often painful and a roadblock itself. When you consider an option such as Google Voice, that is simple, straightforward, and starts at $10/user/month, it simply becomes a no-brainer to stay away from Microsoft's phone services at the moment.
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