Skype For Business Alternative Client Mac

Great news for enterprise Mac users – this week, out of Redmond: the new Skype for Business client for macOS has been released and is available for download! If you’re a business Mac user (or if you support Mac users), and currently use Lync Server, Skype for Business Server, or Skype for.

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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/capabilitySkype for Business 2015 or 2016 clientSkype for Business on MacLync 2013 clientLync Windows Store appLync 2010Lync 2010 AttendantLync Phone EditionCommunicator for Mac 2011Lync 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/capabilitySkype for Business 2015 or 2016 clientSkype for Business on MacLync 2013 clientLync Windows Store appLync 2010Lync 2010 AttendantLync Phone EditionCommunicator for Mac 2011Lync 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

Alternative

This table covers features related to IM support.

Feature/capabilitySkype for Business 2015 or 2016 clientSkype for Business on MacLync 2013 clientLync Windows Store appLync 2010Lync 2010 AttendantLync Phone EditionCommunicator for Mac 2011Lync 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 onSaved in Communicator for MacSaved 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/capabilitySkype for Business 2016 clientSkype for Business on MacSkype for Business Web AppSkype for Business 2015 clientLync 2013 clientLync Windows Store appLync 2010Lync 2010 AttendantLync Phone EditionCommunicator for Mac 2011Lync 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 files❸ Annotations not availablePresent only❸ View only, annotations not available
Navigate Microsoft PowerPoint files
Add and edit OneNote meeting notesEdit only (not add)
Use a whiteboard
Conduct polls
Upload files to share with others
Schedule a meeting or conferenceOutlook or Skype for Business Web SchedulerOutlook or Skype for Business Web SchedulerSkype for Business Web SchedulerOutlook or Skype for Business Web SchedulerOutlook or Lync Web SchedulerOutlook or Lync Web SchedulerOutlookOutlook
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

Business

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/capabilitySkype for Business 2015 or 2016 clientSkype for Business on MacLync 2013 clientLync Windows Store appLync 2010Lync 2010 AttendantLync Phone EditionCommunicator for Mac 2011Lync 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/capabilitySkype for Business 2015 or 2016 clientSkype for Business on MacLync 2013 clientLync Windows Store appLync 2010Lync 2010 AttendantLync Phone EditionCommunicator for Mac 2011Lync 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.

Skype For Business Mac Client

Future/capability**Skype for Business 2015 or 2016 clientSkype for Business on MacLync 2013 clientLync Windows Store appLync 2010Lync 2010 AttendantLync Phone EditionCommunicator for Mac 2011Lync 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/capabilitySkype for Business 2015 or 2016 clientSkype for Business on MacLync 2013 clientLync Windows Store appLync 2010Lync 2010 AttendantLync Phone EditionCommunicator for Mac 2011Lync 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/capabilitySkype for Business 2015 or 2016 clientSkype for Business on MacLync 2013 clientLync Windows Store appLync 2010Lync 2010 AttendantLync Phone EditionCommunicator for Mac 2011Lync for Mac 2011
Archiving of IM conversations in Outlook Conversation History✔ ❶✔If server side conversation history is enabled✔ ❶✔ ❶Saved in Communicator for MacSaved 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
  • 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
  • Missed call notification emails are not generated when a user status is UM disabled and they are using a legacy Outlook Client (2013 or earlier)

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

This topic answers frequently asked questions about updating from Lync for Mac to Skype for Business on Mac.

Skype For Business Mac Updates

Note: Some features described here might not be available in your organization. Check with your Skype for Business administrator (usually the person who provided your user ID and password) if you’re not sure.

What features have changed in Skype for Business on Mac?

Read about the features that are available in Skype for Business is now on Mac.

Does Skype for Business on Mac run on my version of Mac OS?

Skype for Business on Mac runs on OS X El Capitan or later versions. To find out which OS version you have, from the Apple menu, click About This Mac. Need to upgrade your operating system?

See other system requirements.

How do I join a Skype for Business meeting on a Mac?

You can join a meeting right from the Skype for Business on Mac main window, without having to go to Outlook. See Join a Skype for Business meeting.

Skype Business For Mac

How do I share my desktop to others in a meeting?

It's easy to share your desktop with other people in a meeting by clicking the button. You need to be a presenter in a meeting to share your screen. If the option appears dimmed, ask one of the presenters to give you presenter access.

Microsoft Skype For Business Mac

Why don't I see a Join button next to a meeting?

Make sure the meeting is set up as an online meeting. If it is, in the Skype for Business main window, click on the meeting you want to attend to make the Join button appear.

I have recurring meetings that were scheduled in Lync for Mac. Do I need to cancel and reschedule them or run an update to change them to Skype for Business on Mac meetings?

No, you do not need to cancel and reschedule your meetings that were scheduled in Lync for Mac. Your meeting invitations will still work.

Are the phone numbers the same for dial-in conferencing on Skype for Business on Mac as they were on Lync for Mac?

Yes. The phone numbers will remain the same for Skype for Business on Mac.

I am on Skype for Business on Mac, but will invite users that still have the Lync for Mac. Will they be able to join the meeting?

Yes. When users join the meeting, they will join on whichever client (Lync or Skype for Business) is installed on their system. If a user does not have either product, they will be prompted to install the Skype for Business Web App.

Can I use the Meet Now feature with Skype for Business on Mac?

Yes. On the menu bar, click Conversations > Meet Now.

Where can I find help topics about Skype for Business on Mac?

On the menu bar, click Help > Skype for Business Help.

Can I add and remove contacts?

Add and remove contacts feature is supported for users on Office 365 and Skype for Business Server 2015. It is not supported for Lync Server 2013.

Is there a feature list that compares Skype for Business on Mac to Lync on Mac and other Skype for Business clients?

If you have Skype for Business Server 2015 and Office 365, see the Skype for Business on Mac column in Client comparison tables for Skype for Business Server 2015.

If you have Lync Server 2013, see the Skype for Business on Mac column in Client comparison tables for Lync Server 2013.

Admin: How do you increase the auto-accept period on Mac client?

If server-side conversation history is turned off in your organization, by default, the Skype for Business on Mac client will auto-accept incoming messages if the message arrives within 5 minutes of the Mac client being active. This helps ensure the sender does not get the following error: “We couldn't send this message.” After 5 minutes of any activity, the Mac client does not auto-accept the messages to ensure mobile endpoints are able to accept incoming messages as necessary. To increase/decrease the time to auto-accept on the Mac client from the default 5 minutes, follow either of these steps:

  1. Create a configuration profile with the appropriate key and value and install it on a managed Mac. Creating and installing configuration profiles is out of the scope of these steps; see Configuration Profile Reference .

    1. The payload type is com.microsoft.SkypeForBusiness.

    2. Key: autoAcceptTimeout Type: Number Value: The timeout value in seconds.

  2. Change value using defaults terminal application:

    1. Open terminal.

    2. Change the key using defaults: 'defaults write com.microsoft.SkypeForBusiness autoAcceptTimeout 360'.

Admin: Is Single Window mode supported?

Skype for Business on Mac Single Window mode (or tabbed conversations view) is supported for Office 365 and Skype for Business Server 2015 when server-side conversation history is turned on.

Admin: Is the new notification style changes supported?

The notification style change from Alerts to Banners applies to new installed applications. Therefore, a user that only updated to a new version should manually change the setting from notification preferences (Skype for Business > Preferences > Notifications. From Apple developer release notes for Notification Center: “The user has ultimate control over what notifications are displayed, and the style (banner, alert, etc.). There is no mechanism to override the user preferences.” For more information see Foundation Release Notes for OS X v10.8 and Earlier.

See Also