How can Teams replace skype??

Iron Contributor

Since its announced that Teams will replace Skype for Business, how will teams fit in our environment?  The only thing we use skype for is IM.  It works great, integrates with outlook all is good.  I have used it to share my screen and view someone else screen which also works great.  


Teams doens't seem to have chat at all, just group chat which seems all too much like email and rather useless.  The info I can find seems that Teams only works with Office365 groups, but what if we do not use O365 groups and have them disabled so noone can create them.  Im not seeing 1 feature of Teams that would be anything we would want going forward.  


Nothing about the Teams App looks any good. Was this made for Vista???  its ugly!  I installed it and there are buttons on the left side for Teams, Meetings, Files.  Teams nothing there.  Meetings is just Outlook Calendar in a weird view.   Files well not sure what the use is for this.  Shows my OneDrive contents, why it shows in the app IDK.  all seems pointless and useless.  


How can this take the place of skype when you can't even message someone on it, the whole point in Skype for us.  



28 Replies
There are a huge amount of training resources for you to dive into!

Also, if you have ideas, or things you want to change, go to uservoice and make requests/ ideas there! You won’t get much attention on those kind of posts here...

@Chris Webb Oh yes I have done research.  Couldn't find one bit of documentation saying features only work Teams to Teams.  You can say all you want that I didn't do enough research but I spent quite a bit of time reading MS documentation on how to plan and implement an upgrade to Teams.  Probably more than most will ever do.   It states that Teams can communicate with Skype but it doesn't say how limited this ability is.  If nothing but text chat works Teams to Skype, how could anyone ever plan a migration?  Its all or nothing and that doesn't work well in real world environments.  If there is better documentation out there I didn't find it in my searching.  Got better links to documentation?  


To me multi-window chat is very different.  This implies that each chat you have going open in a separate window.  This would be lots of wasted space and time going between multiple open windows.  Looking for it to be like skype keep all you chats in one nice view where it shows active chats and you click between them in the same window.  The multiwindow you refer to I assume is this?

It clearly shows in the screenshots provided for this single chat open in its own window.  This does not seem productive or as easily user friendly as Skype currently is.   




@adam deltinger I have voted and opened multiple items on uservoice.  



We all share your frustration at one time or another with Microsoft. Been there, done that on searching through documentation.


  • Multi window is a big issue for many people, over time I have gotten "used to it", but strongly hope they change it. FWIW, Teams was heavily influenced by Slack. Consider Teams to be Skype+Slack+Sharepoint. That doesn't help your usability, but maybe some context. Slack does not have multi window, Skype does.
  • Interop between Skype and Teams -- we did this for only a short time pilot and then fully converted to Teams. We eased people into Teams promoting it for "1:1 Chat" and built from there. You may want to chart a plan that gets fully to Teams sooner than you thought. In our fully Teams environment we have no complaints from people (other than above)
  • Pasting works fine in Teams to Teams
  • Compared to the past, Microsoft has been iterating fast. A lot of feature releases, but not always the features we want or when we want them, but this is much better than the past of 12-18 month release cycles
  • Give Teams a chance. Try to move beyond thinking of it as a "Skype replacement" (your immediate need) and think about future opportunities too. It has integration with a lot of apps, a useful command line at the top, persistent chat, Sharepoint integration

Most of the people here are fellow users, trying to help a brother out.


Good luck,




EDIT: multi-window is the 7th top request, you are not alone!

@Rob O'Keefe Thanks   


Beyond 1:1 chat, there just isn't anything in Teams that we want or even see using any time soon.  SharePoint is a dud.  We implemented it back on SP 2010 and everyone hated it.  We have attempted to start again with SP 365 but adaption is again minimal at best.  Noone likes it at all.  The integration with Teams is meaningless if we don't use SP to begin with.  It seems like thats a HUGE thing to Teams and we just don't use it.  Like O365 groups, they are of no use to us.  


Sure people do meetings but 99% of them are just voice call in, for example freeconferencecall. 


There were many users that were using Slack for awhile but when we went to 365 they were moved to Skype.  


I did try to look at the app integrations but they just seemed like more 365 items that we don't use or even assign licenses for.  Im not sure about 3rd party apps but we don't really have any off the shelf apps to integrate with and even if we did integrate I don't see any usefulness of integrating into a chat platform.  More reading is needed to understand why app integration would be anything anyone would want.  


I really will give teams another shot once a new UX gets created for it.  Currently teams seems like it just purely not meant for us.  its deeply integrated into Sharepoint, Group chat and video conferencing.  All of which we just don't have a use for.  

If truly all you want is 1-1 chat, I don't think you shoud use Skype or Teams.

Teams has a lot of good chat features, but the 1 window seems like a show stopper for you.

I am not sure what chat tools offer multiple windows, Skype seemed to be the exception to the rule. HipChat is going away. WhatsApp is not really set up for company use.

What document sharing do you use? I would look for a chat tool that is compatible with that.

@Rob O'Keefe 75% of the company still only use local files/internal server shares.  The rest are in OneDrive.  For the most part people only use onedrive to store documents much like having a backup.  

Just go back to Skype consumer dude, if it works for you

@BumSkull I realize I am a couple years late to this discussion but I am in the midst of being forced to remove Skype for Business from all the computers I manage. I am expected to replace it with some strange mixture of Microsoft Teams, Cisco Jabber, and Cisco WebEx Desktop App - I too am baffled as to how Teams is a replacement for Skype for Business especially when it comes to the 1:1 chat and most importantly easy visibility of the 'Presence' of ones immediate coworkers.


Skype for Business allowed me to add our internal departments to the contacts list via their Active Directory Security Enabled Distribution Groups so that the contact lists would update for all users dynamically as those groups were changed on the backend. So each new computer/user I setup, I logged them into S4B and outlook, added all the 'groups' related to their work area in the company so that on Day 1 they had the 'people' they would need to interact with. How else does someone on their first day have any clue of all the people to manually add to their contacts. Plus, to be honest, why would I want my staff wasting their time on busy work like manually adding contact after contact into 'groups' they create themselves? How will they know when a person leaves or starts for the company who works in another location?


Now it seems that my only option might be to create an 'all staff' Team (even though we do not plan to enable any Teams for anyone at all - very old school, no group collaboration - people say they have enough trouble managing their email, texts, voicemails, and phone calls, without adding tons of teams/channels they also have to monitor) but if did create an all staff 'team' it would be just to allow people to click into THREE submenus to 'see' the 'members' list and their coworkers statuses.


It is unclear if these 'groups' update themselves dynamically either or if I will have to manage the membership in Active Directory and in Teams as the admin/owner.  I have been researching all these products and options for several weeks now and as far as I can tell the only way to interact with 'groups' that live in active directory is to send a chat to the group - not to add the group to your contacts list to easily populate all contacts within your department at one time for 1:1 chat.


Why would they remove this functionality? Really seems to be a step backward. One of my staff said they have resorted to opening an email, addressing it to the distribution list they saw in Skype for Business, expanding it, and then were disappointed because most people just have a blank white dot now that we have so many options to sign into and hardly anyone is aware what to sign into at all. What a total mess. 


Maybe the issue is that, due to security concerns and upper management decisions, we are still a hybrid environment with on-premises exchange servers not email online in the cloud.