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Office 365 license with Skype for Business 2016

Understanding Licensing

Microsoft offers two different types of Office licenses, Subscription and Volume. A Volume based installation is the traditional retail box copy of Office that allows a single computer to install office with the product key. A Subscription installation is tied to a monthly or yearly service through Microsoft that includes the Office software. 

Understanding version

Each iteration of Office has a version number assigned. As updates are applied, the version number is changed to reflect the current level of features, functions and security enhancements. Microsoft offers several different release channels for software which receive updates at different intervals. Each channel will have a different version and build number. Last of all, Microsoft has made many different Office suites through the years. Each of the core suites will have a different version number. 

Why this matters

Microsoft does not allow same version volume software to exist side-by-side with subscription software. As a hosted Skype for Business provider, we are allowed to offer Skype for Business volume licensing. The user portal offers Skype for Business 2016 for download. If your organization is using Office 365 subscriptions, our Skype for Business client cannot be installed along side. 

Skype for Business Basic client

Many Office subscriptions include Skype for Business Basic client. This is a restriction based on software and is not a limitation on the services we provide. The Skype for Business basic client is a restricted version of Skype for Business and does not include the feature set below

  • Manage delegates
  • Manage team call settings
  • Make calls on behalf of another contact
  • Handle another users calls if configured as a delegate
  • Manage a high volume of calls
  • Initiate a call to a response group
  • Call park
  • Change greeting
  • Group call pick up

Putting it together

If you plan on using a subscription to Office 365 in addition to hosted Skype for Business, an E3 license or higher is required to use the full Skype for Business feature set. The other option is to use volume licensing for the Office suite. 



Desktop comparison of Skype for Business installs. See Client Limitations on the right side navigation pane:

Click-to-Run versus MSI comparison: