Microsoft Announces Teams Feature Parity with Skype for Business

Microsoft Teams finally reaches feature parity

Microsoft Announces Teams Feature Parity with Skype for Business

Last year, when Microsoft announced that their flagship Teams application would soon replace Skype for Business, users responded with a mixture of uncertainty and concern. Although Microsoft Teams had a lot to offer back then, it couldn’t compete with all the features that enterprises could get from their Skype for Business app. Of course, a lot has changed in the last year, and Microsoft Teams is now more feature-rich and engaging than ever.

In fact, there’s been so much growth in the Microsoft Teams app over the last 12 months, that the company has actually ended up well ahead of it’s self-imposed deadline for achieving feature parity between the apps.

During the Microsoft Inspire partner show, Ron Markezich, the Office 365 marketing VP, said that Microsoft has finally achieved true feature parity between Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business.

Microsoft Races Ahead of the Game

Ron Markezich

Ron Markezich

Back in 2017, Microsoft officials suggested that most Skype for Business features would be out in Teams by the end of the second quarter this year. However, they also noted that many of the advanced calling features on Skype wouldn’t be available until the end of 2018. Now, it seems that Microsoft is well-ahead of schedule, in fact, ZDNet quotes a message from a Microsoft spokesperson which echoes the feature parity announcement of Ron Markezich.

The quote indicates that “feature parity” is here, and that Microsoft define that as having all the convergence roadmap engineering work done, and ready to roll out to customers. In other words, even if you’re not seeing the exact same features on Microsoft Teams now, the company assures us that they’re ready to introduce those capabilities soon.

Skepticism from Microsoft Users

Goodbye SfB Hello Teams

Goodbye Skype for Business, Hello Microsoft Teams – click to read

Of course, some people are a little more cynical of Microsoft’s parity claims than others. In various communication forums, as well as social media channels like Twitter, some customers are questioning whether you can really do everything on Teams that you could otherwise do on Skype. There are various concerns floating around about the functionality of Phone Support in Teams, and features like Location-based routing or group-call pickup.

Perhaps we just need to be a little more patient. However, some clients are worried that their time is running out to get the service they need from Teams. For now, we’re still waiting for any official announcement as to when Microsoft is dropping Skype for Business Online support entirely, but the closer we get to this true vision of feature parity, the more customer anxieties arise.

The good news is that on-premises Skype for Business will at least be around until 2019, and the chances are that Microsoft won’t leave you hanging until they’re certain you can get the support you need on Teams – just as you would on Skype.


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