Since 2015 when Microsoft changed the name of its communication app, Lync, to Skype for Business, there has been confusion. The company now offers two video calling and messaging tools with almost similar names: Skype and Skype for Business. The two apps serve different audiences, though, and each comes with own unique features.
The version of Skype you choose depends on factors like the size of your business, the number of people participating in your meetings, the devices and apps the version supports, your budget, and whether you need the advanced functionalities of Skype for Business. Here is an in-depth comparison of Skype vs Skype for Business, including the differences and advantages of each.
Features of Skype
Skype is the free version of Microsoft's video calling and instant messaging applications. It was designed for small-scale businesses and individuals who do not need complex add-ons that would enhance the software's functionality. Being free, it means the app only packages features for the regular consumer and would be inadequate for large businesses where meetings involve many people. Skype supports meetings of up to 25 people.
Features of Skype for Business
It's a paid-for software specifically made to favour use by large organizations. With support for up to 250 users at a time, Skype for Business is ideal for businesses that need to hold large online meetings, share files, and do a host of other things on a large scale. The features it comes with allow the app to support various functionalities which the free version wouldn't.
Skype vs Skype for Business; what are the differences?
Differences in the two applications are mainly in the features and functionalities, with each feature favoring the use the app was made for. The differences are in:
Number of users supported
Skype only supports a maximum of 25 users, quite low compared Skype for Business which supports a maximum of 250 participants. Skype for business also integrates Skype Meeting Broadcast: a feature that allows ten thousand participants to view the broadcast. Skype for Business offers more meeting options and functionalities than the free version, Skype. More control, and recording of the meetings is also possible.
Integration of Apps
Skype for Business integrates more with other apps from Microsoft. It's packaged within Office 365, which allows the use of apps such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint and others with ease. The number of apps Skype for Business can integrate with depends on the plan: the more costly the plan you choose, the more the apps available for integration.
Both versions are compatible with Windows and Mac OS's as well as devices. When it comes to compatibility with devices, Skype offers more options. It connects to various external devices and apps without difficulty.
Skype for Business is enterprise grade and, therefore made to higher security features. Both versions feature AES and TLS encryption to protect communication so that only meeting participants can read it. Skype for Business incorporates more to its security measures by allowing administrator control over users. The administrator is able to deny or allow users access to certain features to protect the interests of the business. Skype for Business also integrates a feature that archives unsuccessful attempts to log in. The feature helps to log bugs, errors in connection, and hacking attempts.
Skype for Business is a paid-for app, with the number and sophistication of available features determining the price plan. Packages range from$2 to $35 a month. Skype, on the other hand, is free, except for voice calls.
Both Skype and Skype for Business have their advantages and disadvantages. The free version doesn't come with features that would be helpful to a large organisation, being only able to support less than 25 participants. The paid-for version is limited in features, too, with compatibility with apps from other sources being an issue.
If you're looking for an online meeting tool that's seamless and with great features for a reasonable price, I would suggest you try ezTalks Cloud Meeting. The App is a product of ezTalks, web and video conferencing products and service provider that offers business solutions in the field of communications. The company caters to both small and large organizations. ezTalks Cloud Meetings is easy to install and use, comes with various plans to choose from depending on your business needs, and the videos are HD.
The free version of ezTalks Meetings supports up to 100 users at a time and packages great features not found in other free online meeting tools. The free version is quite a bargain for small businesses just starting out and looking for online meeting apps that suit their budgets.