The Many Versions of Skype for Business

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6 Responses

  1. Michael says:


    Hola! I’m Michael. I live in Guanajuato, Mexico, though I’m a US citizen.

    I liked your article (on downloading Skype). Thank you! But (LOL) the problem folks like I really have is this …

    When one clicks on the Download button over at the Microsoft site, to download Skype for Business Basic, you see something like this:

    lyncentry_4351-1001_x64_en-us.exe 445.5 MB

    lyncentry_4351-1001_x86_en-us.exe 379.0 MB

    And then there are checkboxes. Microsoft doesn’t help at all because all they tell you is, “Note: There are multiple files available for this download. Once you click on the “Download” button, you will be prompted to select the files you need.”

    Well, I’m just a guy in Mexico downloading Skype for an interview with the Peace Corps. LOL I don’t KNOW what files I need. I would assume that the “64” refers to a 64-bit version of software, but “86”?!?! LOL I have no idea. Perhaps I need both?!?!

    I’m in the dark here. Time permitting, perhaps you could clarify for folks like myself if we need both files–or not. (And this is from someone who worked at Microsoft for years, doing editing, proofreading, database management, and project management. I’m surprised Microsoft doesn’t just spell it out for us.)


    Michael Morgan

  2. Zubair Alexander says:

    Hi Michael, x64 and x86 are two different types of architectures. In simple terms, x64 refers to 64-bit software. x86 is a reference to the Intel 8086 CPU and it refers to 32-bit software. In general, to fully take advantage of the software, you will run 64-bit software on 64-bit systems and 32-bit software on 32-bit systems. However, when it comes to Microsoft Office or Office-related products (Visio, SharePoint Designer, etc.), the recommendation is to use 32-bit versions (i.e. x86) on both 64-bit and 32-bit computers. Hopefully this answers your question.

  3. Krista says:

    Probably a stupid question, but in my Office 365 account I see 2 versions of Skype as options: Skype for Business Basic and Skype for Business 2015 – What is the difference?

    Also, I have heard people talk about Skype for Enterprise – is this a real thing or are people just coining new phrases?


  4. Zubair Alexander says:

    Hi Krista,

    First of all, this is not a dumb question. A lot of people are confused about the different versions of Skype. Hopefully others can benefit from your question and my answer.

    The main difference between the two is that Skype Basic is free, but Skype for Business costs money. There are other differences as well. Skype for Business is meant for businesses so it includes more functionality and is integrated with Office 365. This means that you can use Outlook, IM, voice, and video features easily. You can even archive your business meetings and use sophisticated videoconferencing setups for branch offices. I should also point out that Skype for Business (Enterprise) allows 250 people in a conference, while Skype for Business (Standard) allows 100. If I am not mistaken, Skype Basic only allows 25 people. Microsoft constantly makes changes to most Office 365 features and services and names so what I am telling you today may not be true next week, or even tomorrow :).

    I think when someone talks about Skype for Enterprise, he/she is probably referring to Skype for Business (Enterprise version). Yes, there are two flavors of Skye for Business…..Standard and Enterprise. The Standard is a limited version of the Enterprise version.

    To make things even more complicated, there are different versions available for different subscriptions. For example, in my Office 365 E1 subscription I see a choice of installing “Skype for Business Basic 2016” but in my Office 365 E3 subscription I see the option to install “Skype for Business 2016.” Because it doesn’t say Basic, I am assuming it’s the enterprise version. Keep in mind, these versions are for you to download to your local computer. Always use the 32-bit version of every Office component, including Skype.

  5. Brian Cook says:


    I don’t think you answered Krista’s question because I have the same one.

    My Options in 365 are:
    Skype for Business Basic
    Skype for Business 2015

    But your answer seems to reference the differences between Free vs. Business, both options are Business.

  6. Zubair Alexander says:

    Hi Brian, my apologies to Krista and you for not making clear the difference between Skype for Business Basic and Skype for Business 2015. As far as I know, the Skype for Business Basic has fewer features (and hence it’s called Basic). The Skype for Business 2015 is the full version, which includes all the options. You can visit Microsoft’s Web site for a client comparison at Hopefully I have answered your question.

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