I was reading Peter Bright’s article “Lync 2013 is Everything Skype Should be, Why Do They Both Exist?”
Here is my answer: Lync is entirely designed with the enterprise in mind. Skype is entirely designed with the consumer user in mind. These design fundamentals are not trivial or tack-on’s but core pillars that drive the product’s design. At times the design goals are nearly opposite of each other.
At Lync Conference 2013 Microsoft called these two design fundamentals: Richness (lync) and Reach (skype).
What are some of these fundamental design differences?
- Use scripts to provision 1000’s of users in 1 minute
- Use scripts to change settings/policies for 1000’s of users at once
- Company wide archiving and search
- Other company regulations requiring communication policies be in place
- like certain departments may not be able contact each other
- Voice features like call transfer, call park, hunt groups, call pickup etc
- Deeply integrated into Outlook/Exchange
- Outlook meeting changes Lync presence to “In a meeting” and so on.
- Presence & Skills based people search integrated to Sharepoint
- Ability to have the product on premise or hosted
- Presumes someone other than the user decides and pays for features
- Security is more of a focus in several ways
- on premise means you are in control
- Multiple Points of Presence means another user cannot sign in as you and watch IM discussions
- Server and Client based API’s
- Ability to federate with XMPP networks (google, etc) is built into the product
- Sophisticated meetings with possibility of many attendees
- Web portal for 1 user to provision themselves with design focus on easy, not efficient
- Presumes freemium model with methods to pay for additional features.
- Only needs to compete with other freemium, consumer grade products so minimal features.
- Free often means you are giving somethings (privacy/ads)
- Total lack of central control is optimal for users connecting and by design
- For consumers designers can’t presume Outlook will be available to conversation history inside client
- effective at doing “low cost” connections
Indeed, microsoft had some excellent visuals at the Lync Conference 2013 presentation on “Lync & Skype” that says it better than my words:
On the needs of End Users vs IT:
Below shows enterprise components:
Should Microsoft Invest in Making a “Simple Lync”? Why Bother, they Already Have it: Skype
I suspect the argument against “just make a simple Lync client” is that that is a lot more work and behind the scenes (server side) effort than first meets the eye. (payment system to do screen sharing and conferences etc) And when we’re all done: it’s like 2 products now, with twice the complexity to maintain…and guess what…we already have Skype. (this is a guess)
Lync Can Be Your One Client That “Does It All”
If you have Lync 2013 that means you can talk to Office365 , Lync, Gmail, XMPP Compatible system and Skype contacts out of the box. So Lync is providing “consumer” and “enterprise” connectivity—but delivered from an Enterprise perspective—definitely.
Microsoft has noted that Skype and Lync are staying here. Lync Server 2014 will be delivered in early 2014 and will be designed around richness and enterprise needs. Skype is staying around and focusing on consumer needs.
Some other Lync <-> Skype articles you might have interest in:
- How Do I Enable Lync <-> Skype Federation from Skype Side? Click Here
- How Much Will Lync <-> Skype Federation Cost? Click Here
- How Does Lync <-> Skype Federation Work Under the Hood? Click Here
- Nov 2012: Lync <-> Skype IM/P Has Started Working: Click Here
- Feb 2013: Lync <-> Skype Voice Has Started Working for Some: Click Here