Desktop client comparison tables for Skype for Business

Skype for Business Server 2015
 

Topic Last Modified: 2017-05-03

Summary: Skype for Business Server 2015 or Skype for Business Online administrators can use these tables to understand what features are supported on which clients.

Before you deploy or upgrade to Skype for Business, check which clients are already in use in your organization. Use the tables below to understand the feature support impact on those clients. This can help you communicate changes to users, pace the roll-out process, and fully understand the benefits of upgrading to the latest client.

Some features available with Skype for Business Server 2015 are not available in Skype for Business Online, see Online or Hybrid user accounts for specifics. Skype for Business Online Admins may want to refer to Skype for Business Online Service Description for information on the different plans available to them.

The following tables show the features that are available with each client that works with Skype for Business Server 2015 or Skype for Business Online. You may also want to refer to Mobile client comparison tables for Skype for Business. The Client Access License or User Subscription License your organization purchases will also have an impact on which features are available to your users. Whether you deploy the Full or Basic client to users depends on the license or plan your organization chooses to buy. See the Licensing Guide for more details.

importantImportant:
Skype for Business Server 2015 and Skype for Business Online support the following previously released clients: Lync 2013, Lync 2010, Lync 2010 Mobile, Lync Phone Edition, and Lync 2010 Attendant. For information about these clients when used with other servers, see the Client comparison tables for Lync Server 2013 and Client comparison tables for Lync Server 2010.
noteNote:
The Lync 2010 Attendant client is not supported in Skype for Business Online.
noteNote:
The Skype for Business Web App browser client only provides Meetings support.

This table covers the Enhanced Presence features that extend beyond a simple indication of whether a user is online, offline, busy, etc.

 

Feature/capability

Skype for Business 2015 or 2016 client

Skype for Business on Mac

Lync 2013 client

Lync Windows Store app

Lync 2010

Lync 2010 Attendant

Lync Phone Edition

Communicator for Mac 2011

Lync for Mac 2011

Publish and view status

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View status based on calendar free/busy information

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View status notes and Out of Office messages

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Add a custom location

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Add a custom note

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Use a photo from any public site for My Picture

(not available in Skype for Business Online)

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This table covers the features relating to managing IM and Presence contacts.

 

Feature/capability

Skype for Business 2015 or 2016 client

Skype for Business on Mac

Lync 2013 client

Lync Windows Store app

Lync 2010

Lync 2010 Attendant

Lync Phone Edition

Communicator for Mac 2011

Lync for Mac 2011

Pre-populated Contacts list

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View and Modify Contacts list

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Tag contacts for status change alerts

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Control privacy relationships

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Search the corporate address book

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Search Microsoft Outlook contacts

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Manage contact groups

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Expand distribution groups and Office 365 Groups

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Search for Response Groups

(not available in Skype for Business Online)

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Display recent contacts group

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Display current conversations group

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Display alternate contact views (for example, tile)

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Sort contacts by Group, Relationship, or New (people who’ve added you to their Contacts list)

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Sort by group

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Sort contacts by Status (availability)

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This table covers features related to IM support.

 

Feature/capability

Skype for Business 2015 or 2016 client

Skype for Business on Mac

Lync 2013 client

Lync Windows Store app

Lync 2010

Lync 2010 Attendant

Lync Phone Edition

Communicator for Mac 2011

Lync for Mac 2011

Initiate IM with or email to a contact

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Navigate among multiple IM conversations/Track multiple conversations in a single tabbed window

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Log IM conversations in Outlook

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If server side conversation history is turned on

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Saved in Communicator for Mac

Saved in Lync for Mac

Use prepared conversation templates

 

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Check spelling

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Skill search (with SharePoint Server integration)

(On-premises Skype for Business Server and on-premises SharePoint 2013 are required for skill search.)

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Persistent Chat (Group Chat) integration

(not available for Skype for Business Online)

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Escalate a Persistent Chat room to a Skype for Business Meeting with one click

(not available for Skype for Business Online)

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Inline pictures of sender and receiver in IM window

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Send ink messages

 

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Receive ink messages

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This table covers features related to Meetings support.

noteNote:
  • Skype for Business meeting features aren't available in Skype for Business Online Standalone Plan 1.

  • In Skype-to-Skype sessions, a Skype for Business Online Plan 1 user can participate in desktop sharing and application sharing if they're invited by a user who has access to sharing features.

  • For details, see the Skype for Business Online Service Description.

 

Feature/capability

Skype for Business 2016 client

Skype for Business Web App

Skype for Business 2015 client

Skype for Business on Mac

Lync 2013 client

Lync Windows Store app

Lync 2010

Lync 2010 Attendant

Lync Phone Edition

Communicator for Mac 2011

Lync for Mac 2011

Add computer audio

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(requires plug-in)

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Add video

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(requires plug-in)

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View multiparty video (gallery view)

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Video-based screen sharing

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Use in-meeting presenter controls

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Access detailed meeting roster

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Participate in multiparty IM

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Share the desktop (if enabled)

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(requires plug-in)

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Share a program (if enabled)

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(requires plug-in)

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View only

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View only

Add anonymous participants (if enabled)

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Use dial-in audio meetings

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Initiate a Meet Now meeting

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Add and present Microsoft PowerPoint files

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Present only

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read footnote 3

View only, annotations not available

Navigate Microsoft PowerPoint files

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Add and edit OneNote meeting notes

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Edit only (not add)

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Use a whiteboard

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Conduct polls

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Upload files to share with others

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checklist check-off

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Schedule a meeting or conference

Outlook or Skype for Business Web Scheduler

Skype for Business Web Scheduler

Outlook or Skype for Business Web Scheduler

Outlook

Outlook or Lync Web Scheduler

Outlook or Lync Web Scheduler

Outlook

Outlook

Q&A Manager

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read footnote 1 Participants can't control desktops that are shared by Lync for Mac 2011 or Communicator for Mac 2011 users. Lync for Mac 2011 and Communicator for Mac 2011 users can control desktops shared by Windows users. This also won't work for Skype for Business Web App on Max OSX.

read footnote 2 For Skype for Business Online, this feature requires Microsoft PSTN Conferencing, Exchange Unified Messaging, or a 3rd party audio conferencing provider.

read footnote 3 The Lync for Mac 2011 client cannot view Microsoft Office 2013 PowerPoint presentations when they have been shared in a conference by the Skype for Business Web App.

This table covers features related to voice services support.

noteNote:
Skype for Business Voice (Telephony) features are limited to certain Skype for Business Online subscription plans.
For details, see the Skype for Business Online Service Description.

 

Feature/capability

Skype for Business 2015 or 2016 client

Skype for Business on Mac

Lync 2013 client

Lync Windows Store app

Lync 2010

Lync 2010 Attendant

Lync Phone Edition

Communicator for Mac 2011

Lync for Mac 2011

Initiate a call

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Click to call a contact

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Transfer a call

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Manage call forwarding

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Manage team call settings

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Manage delegates

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Initiate a call to a Response Group

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Support emergency services (E9-1-1)

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Requires Skype for Business Server 2015 CU4

checklist check-offread footnote 1

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Connect to voice mail, set up or change greeting

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Missed call notification

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Make calls on behalf of another contact (manager/delegate scenario)

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Handle another's calls if configured as a delegate

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Manage a high volumes of calls

 

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Call park

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Group call pickup

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read footnote 1 This feature isn't available in Skype for Business Online.

This table covers features related to support for external users homed on the PSTN.

 

Feature/capability

Skype for Business 2015 or 2016 client

Skype for Business on Mac

Lync 2013 client

Lync Windows Store app

Lync 2010

Lync 2010 Attendant

Lync Phone Edition

Communicator for Mac 2011

Lync for Mac 2011

Initiate IM with a public contact

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Initiate IM with a federated contact

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Conduct two-party or multiparty calls with external users

(not available in Skype for Business Online)

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This table covers features related to support for recording meetings.

 

Feature/capability

Skype for Business 2015 or 2016 client

Skype for Business on Mac

Lync 2013 client

Lync Windows Store app

Lync 2010

Lync 2010 Attendant

Lync Phone Edition

Communicator for Mac 2011

Lync for Mac 2011

Client-side recording of audio, video, application sharing, desktop sharing, and uploaded content

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Client-side recording of file transfers, shared OneNote pages, and PowerPoint annotations

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Select preferred recording resolution

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read footnote 1 Recording is unavailable in certain Skype for Business Online standalone plans. Recording requires full Skype for Business client rights.

read footnote 2 Recording of file transfers, shared OneNote pages, and PowerPoint annotations is unavailable in Skype for Business Online.

This table covers features related to support for archiving and logging functions.

 

Feature/capability

Skype for Business 2015 or 2016 client

Skype for Business on Mac

Lync 2013 client

Lync Windows Store app

Lync 2010

Lync 2010 Attendant

Lync Phone Edition

Communicator for Mac 2011

Lync for Mac 2011

Archiving of IM conversations in Outlook Conversation History

checklist check-offread footnote 1 checklist check-off

If server side conversation history is turned on

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Saved in Communicator for Mac

Saved in Lync for Mac

Client-side archiving of audio, video, application sharing, desktop sharing, and uploaded content

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Client-side archiving of file transfers, shared OneNote pages, and PowerPoint annotations

(unavailable in Skype for Business Online)

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Access sign-in logs from Skype for Business icon in the task bar

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read footnote 1 For Skype for Business Online users, this feature requires Exchange Online and is controlled by the user’s Exchange mailbox In-Place Hold attribute.

The features below are available using the Full client and are not available with the Basic client:

  • Manage team call settings

  • Manage delegates

  • Make calls on behalf of another contact (manager/delegate scenario)

  • Handle another's calls if configured as a delegate

  • Manage a high volume of calls

  • Initiate a call to a Response Group

  • Call park

  • Group call pickup

User accounts can exist either Online or On-premises, and that will affect the features available to that user. Users with accounts on Skype for Business Online will not have access to the following features, even with the Full client:

  • Enhanced Presence: Use a photo from any public site for My Picture

  • Contacts: Search for Response Groups

  • IM Support: Persistent Chat (Group Chat) integration

  • IM Support: Escalate a Persistent Chat room to a Skype for Business Meeting with one click

  • External Users: Conduct two-party or multiparty calls with external users

 
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