Skype for Business Retirement

Microsoft is retiring Skype for Business in 2021, replacing it with Microsoft Teams. Effective January 17, 2021, Skype for Business has been retired on Mason’s Office 365 employee system. Mason faculty and staff should use Microsoft Teams. This change will not impact MasonLive.

Service Summary

George Mason University provides Skype for Business to active students and employees at no cost. Microsoft Skype for Business Online is a hosted communications service that connects people anytime and from virtually anywhere by delivering collaboration capabilities; it gives users access to presence, instant messaging, ad hoc device to device audio and video calling, online meetings, and web conferencing capabilities.

Key Features

Notable features include the following:

  • Functionality across a variety of communications devices and platforms.
  • User-friendly communications control across all Windows  devices and architectures.
  • Integration into all Microsoft 365 apps for enterprise.
  • Multiparty high-definition (HD) video and content sharing for real-time meeting experiences and collaboration.
  • Presenter controls optimized for meeting format, audience size and content sources.
  • Accessibility from within a computer browser to HD video, instant messaging, desktop applications and PowerPoint.
  • Calling, instant messaging and participation in meetings from a Windows, Apple or Android mobile device.
  • Instant messaging (IM, chat) during and outside meetings.
  • Presence (see when contacts are available online) during and outside of meetings.
  • Device to device audio and video calling.
  • PowerPoint collaboration and screen sharing.
  • Video and audio calling for up to 250 people.
  • Join on any device—PC/Mac, tablet, or phone.

Getting This Service

Skype for Business accounts are automatically created at the time of email account creation.


This service is available 24/7, excluding planned outages, normal maintenance windows, and unavoidable events. Maintenance windows are Sundays from 7 to 11 a.m. but may be extended to 2 p.m., if needed. If maintenance is required outside of these hours, it will be announced on the Alerts & Bulletins page.


Looking for more information or training on Skype for Business?  Both Microsoft and LinkedIn Learning offer a wide selection of free instructional guides, videos, and additional resources to help you get started.  These materials are hosted outside of George Mason University.

Microsoft offers a wide selection of instructional guides, videos, and additional resources to help you get started using Skype for Business. (These materials are hosted by Microsoft, Inc.):

You can log in via LinkedIn Learning using your NetID and Patriot Pass Password. Some recommendations include:

  • Skype for Business: Up and Running with Skype for Business


This service is intended for Mason-related public use data only. The university Data Stewardship Policy defines data classified for public use. Users are responsible for understanding and complying with this policy. For more information about data usage and classifications, reference the following:

Users of Skype for Business are responsible for all activity on their accounts, including password resets and abuse, and must adhere to University Policy Number 1301: Responsible Use of Computing