Desktop client feature comparison for Skype for Business Server 2015

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 account limitations 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.

See Desktop client feature comparison for Skype for Business 2019 for client support on Skype for Business Server 2019.

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 feature comparison for Skype for Business for smart phone and tablet client feature comparisons. 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.

Important

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.

Note

The Lync 2010 Attendant client is not supported in Skype for Business Online.

Note

The Skype for Business Web App browser client and Skype Meetings App Windows 10 app only provide Meetings support. Refer to Plan for Meetings clients (Web App and Meetings App) for more about these clients.

Enhanced Presence 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 status
✔ ❶ ✔ ❶
View status
View status notes and Out of Office messages
Add a custom location
Add a custom note
Use a photo from any public site for My Picture
(not available in Skype for Business Online)

❶ Does not support publishing status based on calendar free/busy information.

Contacts and Contact Groups support

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
View and Modify Contacts list
Tag contacts for status change alerts
Control privacy relationships
Search the corporate address book
Search Microsoft Outlook contacts
Manage contact groups
Expand distribution groups and Office 365 Groups
Search for Response Groups
(not available in Skype for Business Online)
Display recent contacts group
Display current conversations group
Display alternate contact views (for example, tile)
Sort contacts by Group, Relationship, or New (people who've added you to their Contacts list)
Sort by group
Sort contacts by Status (availability)
Search and add Exchange contacts

IM support

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
Navigate among multiple IM conversations/Track multiple conversations in a single tabbed window
Log IM conversations in Outlook
✔If server side conversation history is turned on
Saved in Communicator for Mac
Saved in Lync for Mac
Use prepared conversation templates
Check spelling
Skill search (with SharePoint Server integration)
(On-premises Skype for Business Server and on-premises SharePoint 2013 are required for skill search.)
Persistent Chat (Group Chat) integration
(not available for Skype for Business Online)
Escalate a Persistent Chat room to a Skype for Business Meeting with one click
(not available for Skype for Business Online)
Inline pictures of sender and receiver in IM window
Send ink messages
Receive ink messages
Set IM messages as high importance
Transfer files in peer-to-peer IM conversations

Meetings support

This table covers features related to Meetings support.

Note

Skype for Business meeting features aren't available in Skype for Business Online Standalone Plan 1. Plan 1 is being retired.

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 on Mac Skype for Business Web App Skype for Business 2015 client 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
✔(requires plug-in)
Add video
✔(requires plug-in)
View multiparty video (gallery view)
Video-based screen sharing
✔View-only
Use in-meeting presenter controls
Access detailed meeting roster
Participate in multiparty IM
Share the desktop (if enabled)
✔ ❶ ✔ ❶ (requires plug-in)
✔ ❶ ✔ ❶
Share a program (if enabled)
View only
✔(requires plug-in)
View only
Add anonymous participants (if enabled)
Use dial-in audio meetings
✔ ❷ ✔ ❷ ✔ ❷ ✔ ❷
Initiate a Meet Now meeting
Add and present Microsoft PowerPoint files
❸ Annotations not available
Present only
❸ View only, annotations not available
Navigate Microsoft PowerPoint files
Add and edit OneNote meeting notes
Edit only (not add)
Use a whiteboard
Conduct polls
Upload files to share with others
Schedule a meeting or conference
Outlook or Skype for Business Web Scheduler
Outlook or Skype for Business Web Scheduler
Skype for Business Web Scheduler
Outlook or Skype for Business Web Scheduler
Outlook or Lync Web Scheduler
Outlook or Lync Web Scheduler
Outlook
Outlook
Q&A Manager
Disable attendee video
Disable meeting IM
Mute Audience
Make everyone an attendee
Produce Skype Meeting Broadcast
Delegate can schedule a meeting on behalf of delegator
Synchronize delegates between Skype for Business and Outlook
Set Video Spotlight (lock video)
Give/Take control of screen sharing

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

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

❸ 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.

Voice (Telephony) support

This table covers features related to voice services support.

Note

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
Click to call a contact
Transfer a call
Manage call forwarding
✔ ❶
Manage team call settings
✔ ❶
Manage delegates
✔Requires Skype for Business Server 2015 CU4 or later
✔ ❶
Initiate a call to a Response Group
✔ ❶
Support emergency services (E-911)
✔Requires Skype for Business Server 2015 CU6 or later
✔ ❶
IM notification to SIP URI(s) for E-911 call
IM notification to distribution list for E-911 call
Connect to voice mail, set up or change greeting
✔ ❶
Missed call notification
✔ ❶
Make calls on behalf of another contact (manager/delegate scenario)
✔ ❶
Handle another's calls if configured as a delegate
✔ ❶
Manage a high volumes of calls
Call park
✔ ❶
Group call pickup
✔ ❶
Location-based routing
Manage Response Group/Team call group

❶ This feature isn't available in Skype for Business Online.

External users support

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
Initiate IM with a federated contact
Conduct two-party or multiparty calls with external users
(not available in Skype for Business Online)

Recording support

This table covers features related to support for recording meetings.

Future/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
✔ ❶ ✔ ❶
Client-side recording of file transfers, shared OneNote pages, and PowerPoint annotations
✔ ❷ ✔ ❷
Select preferred recording resolution

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

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

Modern Authentication

This table covers features requiring support for modern authentication.

Modern authentication also requires a topology described in Skype for Business topologies supported with Modern Authentication.

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
Modern Authentication
Multi-factor Authentication
Cert -Based Authentication
✔(Domain-joined device only)
✔(Domain-joined device only)
Kerberos Authentication

Archiving, compliance, and logging support

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
✔ ❶ ✔If server side conversation history is enabled
✔ ❶ ✔ ❶ Saved in Communicator for Mac
Saved in Lync for Mac
Client-side archiving of audio, video, application sharing, desktop sharing, and uploaded content
✔ ❶ ✔ ❶
Client-side archiving of file transfers, shared OneNote pages, and PowerPoint annotations
(unavailable in Skype for Business Online)
Access sign-in logs from Skype for Business icon in the task bar

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

Client limitations

Basic client limitations

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

  • Change greeting

  • Group call pickup

Online or Hybrid user account limitations

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

See also

Plan for clients and devices

Latest updates for versions of Skype for Business that use Windows Installer (MSI)