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Clients for Skype for Business Online

Office 365

Applies to: Office 365, Skype for Business Online

Topic Last Modified: 2015-08-27

Skype for Business Online users have several client options for access to the service. For a detailed comparison of the Skype for Business desktop and web clients, see Skype for Business Online client comparison tables. For a detailed comparison of the Skype for Business mobile clients, see Mobile Client Comparison Tables.

The clients that are supported in Skype for Business Online are licensed separately. Customers are responsible for deploying Skype for Business clients to their users or allowing users to use the self-service options. Currently, there is no support for a standalone Skype for Business Client installer.

The Skype for Business desktop client is a locally installed client that provides full access to Skype for Business presence, instant messaging, and conferencing capabilities. It includes enhanced features not available with Lync 2013 Basic, such as multiparty video (gallery view), OneNote meeting notes, recording, and calendar delegation. For more information about new features in Skype for Business, see What's new in Skype for Business Online.

For subscriptions that do not include the full client, Lync 2013 Basic is available for download from within the Office 365 portal. If you have a service that does not include the full Skype for Business client and you want to upgrade to the full client, you can purchase Office 2013 Professional Plus (which contains Skype for Business).

  • The Lync VDI plug-in, which enables the use of local audio and video devices when running Lync 2013 on a virtual machine, is not supported in an Office 365 environment.

  • There is no Skype for Business client available for UNIX or LINUX desktops.

The Lync Basic desktop client is a locally installed application that provides presence, instant messaging and conferencing features for Office 365 plans that include Skype for Business Online. Office 365 ProPlus, Office 365 Enterprise E3 and Office 365 Enterprise E4 include the full Skype for Business application, which include additional features including advanced telephony support, archiving & compliance features. A Skype for Business license must be assigned for each user.

The Lync Windows Store app is a touch-optimized Lync app designed specifically for Windows 8 and Windows RT. Users can download the Lync app through the Windows Store by searching for “Lync" or "Skype for Business.”

Lync for Mac 2011 is the rich client for Skype for Business users on the Mac platform. It offers integrated functionality for instant messaging, presence, Skype for Business meetings, and Skype-to-Skype audio/video, desktop and program sharing (view only), and file sharing. See System Requirements for Lync for Mac 2011 for minimum hardware and software requirements.

Lync apps for mobile clients extend Skype for Business features to a user’s mobile device. Lync apps provide voice and video over wireless connections, rich presence, instant messaging, conferencing, and calling features from a single interface. Lync apps are available for Windows Phone and iOS (iPhone/iPad); for details, see Mobile Client Comparison Tables. A Lync 2010 app is available for Android; for details, see Mobile Client Comparison Tables.

Skype for Business Web App is a browser-based version of Skype for Business for those who are using a computer that does not have Skype for Business installed. Skype for Business Web App is designed mainly for external users who are invited to Skype for Business Meetings and employees who are not at their usual computer at meeting time. Attendees and presenters can participate in Skype for Business meetings by using Skype for Business Web App with leading web browsers. The web client experience enables IM in meetings, high-fidelity desktop, application, and presentation viewing, desktop sharing, whiteboard, lobby, and presenter access controls. In addition, Skype for Business Web App now includes PC-based audio and video. Skype for Business Web App supports Windows and Macintosh operating systems; other operating systems are not supported.

Skype for Business provides support for Skype for Business-certified conference room devices that facilitate Skype for Business Meetings. See Meeting Room Devices for additional information and work with your account team for the latest list of Skype for Business qualified devices.

To view feature availability across Office 365 plans, standalone options, and on-premise solutions, see Skype for Business Online Service Description.

If you have comments or questions about this topic, we'd love to hear from you. Just send your feedback to Office 365 Service Description Feedback. Your comments will help us provide the most accurate and concise content.

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