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Key Difference – Skype vs Skype for Business

Many do not have a clear picture of the difference between Skype and Skype for Business and have difficulty in making the right choice. The key difference between Skype and Skype for Business is the number of users it can support; Skype for business can support up to 250 users whereas Skype can only support 25 users. The following section will take you through what both versions of Skype are and help you decide which one is appropriate for your business. If both versions do not suit your business, you should look for an alternatives like or Aircall.

1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Skype
3. What is Skype for Business
4. Side by Side Comparison – Skype vs Skype for Business
5. Summary

What is Skype?

Skype is a service which makes use of the internet to allow users to make cheap or free voice and video calls. Skype is the service and app that made VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol)  known to the whole world. Skype was the most used VoIP service in the world for many years although it is no longer the case today.

In the past, you needed to pay careful attention to how many minutes and seconds you spent while making an international call. Now you don’t need to worry about the length of your call. When you are using Skype from PC to PC, you do not have to pay anything for the service but only need to bear the cost of the monthly internet service, which is very cheap these days.

Skype can be used to make video calling and conferencing that can be used to talk to people face to face online without any cost. Skype uses its own mechanism to route calls and data over the internet. It uses its own codecs to offer high-quality videos and voice communication to offer high definition calling

When calls are made to Skype from other services like landlines, cellular phones, then cheap VoIP rates will apply. It also comes with premium plans that provide additional features.

Difference Between Skype and Skype for Business

Figure 01: Skype Logo

What is Skype for Business?

Microsoft bought Skype for a staggering 8.5 billion US dollars. Many questioned to why this acquisition took place as Skype was a competing product against its own Windows Live Messenger. As expected it was integrated officially in 2013. In 2014 Lync was rebranded and relaunched as Skype for business. It is clear that both regular Skype and Skype for business are different, and not the same.

If you have the following needs, graduating from regular Skype to Skype for business will be worthwhile.

Features of Skype for Business

Very Large Meeting

Standard Skype can only support 25 people whereas Skype for business can support 250 people. This makes Skype for business ideal for large scale presentations, hands-on meetings, and live webinars.

Integrations with Office Apps

After the initiation of a conference call, you will not need to leave the program to collaborate the use of PowerPoint and Excel spreadsheet. VoIP has enabled the user to make international communication free and cheap bypassing expensive PSTN and cellular plans.

Security and Permissions

All traffic of Skype for business is encrypted with AES. Skype for business is powered by stronger authentication methods that provide you with stronger control and access to available tools.

Sophisticated Conference Room Setup

Dedicated conference rooms that communicate over video with one another came be set up.

Additional Feature for a Price

Additional features will include HD video group conferencing, ability to join through a web browser, remote control and desktop sharing, Outlook integration, and ability to record meetings.

What is the difference between Skype and Skype for Business?

It is clear now that both versions are different. According to Microsoft, Skype is suitable for businesses or up to 25 people. It has benefits like free skype to skype calls and you can also use credit to make calls at the cheapest rates. It also has a user-friendly look and feel.

Microsoft recommends Skype for business for large businesses. It comes with a host of benefits your company can benefit from. Skype for business comes with a feature called Skype Meeting Broadcast which can broadcast a meeting for up to 10000 people online. Skype Room systems is another feature that can be used with standalone cameras and monitors. The feature can connect audio equipment of Microsoft partner network and Microsoft Surface Hub. Microsoft Surface Hub is a large screen built specifically for touch and ink.

Skype for business is a great application for meetings and conferences. It can support presentations and videos, and allow recording. It is secure with enterprise level security. Security can become a very important aspect when it comes to business communications. Even small business sometimes uses Skype for business as it more secure than the Skype version.

Regular Skype is free whereas Skype for Business must be paid on a monthly basis to be used.

Skype vs Skype for Business

Skype is an app that provides online text message and video chat services. Skype for Business is an app that has been improved to be used for business purposes.
Maximum Users
The maximum number of users is 25. The maximum number of users is 250.
Enhanced video conferencing
Enhanced video conferencing is not available. Enhanced video conferencing is available.
Meeting Control for Presenters
Meeting control for presenters is not available. Meeting control for presenters is available.
Meeting Lobby for Attendees
Meeting lobby for attendees is not available. Meeting lobby for attendees is available.
Recording Ability for Conferences and Meetings
Recording ability is not available. Recording ability is available.
Cloud PBX Capability
Cloud PBX is not available. Cloud PBX is not available.
Advanced Call Routing
Advanced call routing is not available. Advanced call routing is available.
Video Conferencing Room with Standalone Audio Gear Camera and Monitors
Video conferencing room with standalone audio gear camera and monitors is not available. Video conferencing room with standalone audio gear camera and monitors is available.
Office Application Integration
Office application integration is not available. Office application integration is available.

Summary – Skype vs Skype for Business

The above-mentioned facts and features clarify the difference between Skype and Skype for Business. The opinion remains divided as to if Skype or Skype for Business is the best option for a company. Some laud security as an innovative feature whereas others point out that regular Skype is a perfectly good application for communication and it isn’t worth spending money to use Skype for business unless you really need the above features.

Image Courtesy:
1.”Logo Skype” (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia