Skype vs Teams: who wins in 2024?

Sara Ana Cemazar
August 15, 2023
min read

Corporate communication is crucial for businesses—each email, call, or document shared plays a major role in decision-making and operations. And communication tools are at the heart of it! There's a fierce rivalry between two of these powerhouses aiming to control this pulse: Skype vs Teams. But the question is—who does it better?

In one corner, we have Skype, known for its user-friendly interface and reliable service. On the other, we have Microsoft Teams, packed with features and a promise to redefine the way businesses collaborate.

Selecting one platform over the other can have serious consequences:

  • Your data may not be as secure, leading to potential breaches and loss of trust.
  • You might fail to utilize the full potential of your collaboration tools and miss out on opportunities to drive growth.
  • Your company may struggle with adapting to a platform that doesn't align with its needs, leading to low user adoption and stifled communication.

And that's what makes the debate — Skype vs Teams — a critical one for the future of your enterprise. So let's dive into it.

Skype vs Teams: does the comparison still stand?

The Skype vs Teams competition has seen a decisive shift in 2024. Microsoft brought Skype under its banner, and Teams stands as its evolutionary successor rather than its adversary. 

The question that lingers is - does the comparison between Skype vs Teams still stand with Skype for Business' End of Life?

While it's tempting to pit Skype's erstwhile features against Teams' current capabilities, it's essential to remember that we're examining the transition from a respected veteran to its modern upgrade. The key lies in assessing how effectively Teams has taken up Skype's mantle and how it is pushing boundaries to meet the demands of today's enterprise.

While Skype could be a viable option for individual users and smaller teams on a budget, Teams’ comprehensive, feature-rich offer finds resonance with larger teams and organizations. 

What is the difference between Skype Vs Teams?

As team communication platforms, both Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams were designed to enhance collaboration. But how do they fare when compared side by side? Let's dissect their functionality in terms of specific aspects to present a comprehensive comparison: 

1. Chat

Skype for Business provides basic chat functionality, enabling direct or group instant messaging. However, Teams took this a step further by integrating a threaded conversation format. Unlike the linear structure in Skype, Teams offers persistent chats, allowing for more contextual, organized, and easy-to-follow discussions.

Users can reply directly to specific messages, maintaining the thread of conversation. Features like these position Teams more favorably in handling complex, multi-level conversations typical in business environments.

Besides, in Skype for Business, chats disappeared once they were closed or after the workday ended. Although chat logs are preserved in Outlook or Exchange, they are not directly accessible in the chat interface.

Microsoft Teams, on the other hand, introduced the concept of persistent chat. When you log into Teams, unlike Skype, the conversation threads from the previous day, week, or even month persist within the chat interface.

2. Audio calls

While both Skype for Business and Teams provide robust audio calling features, Teams enhances this with superior integration and additional functionalities. Both platforms offer one-to-one and group calls, voicemail, and call forwarding.

However, Teams steps up the game by integrating with Microsoft 365 apps. This means during a Teams call, you can co-author a document in real-time using Word, Excel, or PowerPoint. 

Plus, Teams delivers advanced features such as background noise suppression and live captions — an excellent addition for accessibility in noisy environments.

3. Video calls

Both Skype for Business and Teams deliver high-quality video calling, but Teams pushes the envelope with features designed for the modern collaborative workforce. Teams introduced features such as Together Mode and dynamic view to simulate a more natural, in-person meeting experience, overcoming some of the challenges presented by remote work.

For instance, Together Mode digitally places participants in a shared environment, like a meeting room or auditorium, enhancing the feeling of togetherness. The dynamic view automatically adjusts shared content and video participants. This optimizes the viewing experiences. These advancements, coupled with the ability to record and transcribe meetings, provide Teams with an edge over Skype for Business.

4. File transfers

Skype for Business allowed direct file transfers during conversations. However, Teams goes beyond by integrating seamlessly with SharePoint and OneDrive.

When a file is shared in Teams, it's automatically stored in SharePoint, and permissions are managed through OneDrive. This integration means better versioning control, easier file access, and enhanced collaboration. Furthermore, shared files are searchable and accessible even after the conversation ends, ensuring no loss of important documents.

5. User experience

Skype is renowned for its clean and intuitive interface. A 2021 redesign injected fresh elements like new layouts, themes, and feature sections. It made the tool more reminiscent of Microsoft Teams, yet it retained its distinctive simplicity.

Skype and Microsoft Teams both offer grid and large gallery views, Together mode, Pin and Spotlight view, and 1080p video quality. However, Skype has a bonus for casual users:

  • There's no need to download an app or sign up to join a meeting.
  • Just clicking the unique link sent by the hosts lets them use Skype in a browser, keeping things breezy and hassle-free.

Microsoft Teams, in contrast, has a more complex user interface. It has a wide array of communication and productivity features. These features can be challenging to navigate for novice users. However, once familiar, Teams' integration with Office 365 and powerful collaboration tools can become a boon to productivity.

For a more straightforward, plug-and-play experience, Skype takes the cake. For a more integrated and feature-rich experience, particularly for larger teams and organizations, Microsoft Teams emerges as a more suitable enterprise communication tool.

6. Pricing

Both Skype and Microsoft Teams adopt fundamentally different pricing structures. Skype is free, offering core video functionalities through its 'Meet Now' product, with optional extras like Skype credit for international calls.

Teams, however, come with a free tier and several paid plans. The free tier allows up to 100 participants for 60-minute meetings, and one-on-one meetings can stretch to 30 hours, complemented by 5GB of cloud storage per user. 

For organizations desiring more, Teams offers paid plans starting from $4 to $12.50 per user per month, providing longer meeting durations, larger participant limits (up to 1,000 in Enterprise plans), and additional collaboration tools.

While Skype could be a viable option for individual users and smaller teams on a budget, Teams’ comprehensive, feature-rich offer finds resonance with larger teams and organizations

Here’s a quick comparison of the pricing structures of both these giants:

7. Security and Storage

If data security and extensive storage capabilities are on your priority list, Teams emerges as the top contender. Skype, while offering decent security, is more suited to less demanding, personal uses. 

Here’s a quick comparison between both:

Skype employs AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) to encrypt your chats, calls, and shared content, offering a good degree of protection against potential cyber threats.

Teams elevate security with end-to-end encryption and compliance with numerous international and industry-specific standards. Plus, it provides data management features, allowing companies to set up retention policies for shared information in private chats. You could, for instance, auto-delete certain conversations or render them inactive after a set period, reinforcing your control over sensitive data.

In terms of storage, Skype allows file transfers up to 300MB, with files available for download for 30 days. Teams, however, offer considerably larger storage, starting from 1TB for the organization plus 10GB per license bought under Microsoft 365.

Skype vs Teams: Key Takeaways

While Skype is known for its simplicity and ease of use, Teams comes out as a more robust, feature-rich platform. Teams cater to the needs of larger organizations and teams requiring higher security and storage capacities. Here’s a quick summary of what we discussed so far:

1. Chat: Skype provides basic direct or group messaging. Whereas teams improve upon this with a threaded conversation format, allowing for more organized and easy-to-follow discussions.

2. Audio Calls: Both Skype and Teams provide robust audio calling features. Teams stepped up its game by integrating with Microsoft 365 apps and providing advanced features.

3. Video Calls: Both offer high-quality video calling. Teams offer features like Together Mode and Dynamic View to simulate a more natural, in-person meeting experience.

4. File Transfers: Skype allows direct file transfers during conversations. Teams seamlessly integrate with SharePoint and OneDrive for better file management.

5. User Experience: Skype has a simple and intuitive interface, easy for casual users. Teams provide powerful integration with Office 365 and collaboration tools for larger teams and organizations.

6. Pricing: Skype is free with optional extras. Teams come with a free tier and several paid plans that offered additional collaboration tools and participant limits.

7. Security and Storage: Skype offers decent security suitable for less demanding personal use. Teams is superior in terms of advanced security features, data management, and extensive storage capabilities.

The best Skype for Business alternative for security-minded businesses

Now that Microsoft owns Skype, Skype for Business on-premise version is no longer supported. This propelled many organizations to look for a self-hosted alternative that gives them complete data sovereignty and control over their conversations.

One such solution is Rocket.Chat. With the open-source code and on-premise hosting options, transparency and security are on the highest level. Rocket.Chat gives you the opportunity to connect with teammates and external partners via Matrix federation, guaranteeing utmost data privacy.

Rocket.Chat platform supports all chat features together with video calling provided by secure videoconferencing tool Pexip. Customers in highly regulated industries such as Healthcare, Government and Defense, and Financial Services use Rocket.Chat due to its security, broad customization options, and more.

Reach out to our team to try the best secure alternative to Skype for Business.

Get started with Rocket.Chat’s secure collaboration platform

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Sara is an SEO Strategist at Rocket.Chat. She is passionate about topics around digital transformation, workplace experience, open source, and data privacy and security.
Sara Ana Cemazar
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