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Zoom, Skype, Teams: The battle for market domination in the times of COVID-19.
Technology - April 10, 2020
The outbreak of COVID-19 has changed the dynamics of workplace. As more and more companies are adopting “work from home" option, there has been a significant surge in demands for video messaging and conferencing tools.
Skype and Zoom are two global leaders in this segment.
Even though Skype has seen a surge lately however the real beneficiary due to the pandemic has been Zoom whose usage has exploded in the last month.
To compete with Zoom's increased popularity, Skype has announced a new "Meet Now" facility which doesn't require the host to setup an account in order to host the meeting. The organizer can just create a link and send it to participants via email.
The feature was actually launched in December but Microsoft has been aggressively marketing it over the past month to counter the competition from Zoom and to gain business advantage due to the COVID outbreak.
Skype's business arm, Skype for Business was put into sidelines as Microsoft was evangelizing Microsoft teams to firms. However, the present scenario has once again pushed Skype into limelight as its rate of adoption has skyrocketed. To gain advantage, Microsoft released the number of Skype users to the press, something it hasn't done for many years. Microsoft reported a daily userbase of 40 million, a seventy percent increase from February.
However not all is lost for Microsoft Teams. In fact, Microsoft is adding new and improving existing features of Teams such as chat, video calls and better engage with community.
Zoom on the other hand has taken a completely opposite approach. Zoom's CEO, Eric Yuan announced that his company will suspend the release of new features and developments and solely focus on sorting out its privacy and security concerns. As the usage of Zoom exploded, there have been many incidents of security breaches and numerous complaints have been raised. Tesla's CEO, Elon Musk publicly announced suspension of all Zoom services for its employees.
On 8th April 2020, Google announced to its employees that it would be banning them from using Zoom on their company computers because of security concerns. “We have long had a policy of not allowing employees to use unapproved apps for work that are outside of our corporate network,” Jose Castaneda, a Google spokesperson, told BuzzFeed News. “Recently, our security team informed employees using Zoom Desktop Client that it will no longer run on corporate computers as it does not meet our security standards for apps used by our employees. Employees who have been using Zoom to stay in touch with family and friends can continue to do so through a web browser or via mobile.”
Comparing Zoom and Skype for Business
Zoom is a cloud-based conferencing tools provider. It provides a full spectrum of related services. It's interface and usability are very simple and this is the reason it has gained a lot of popularity recently. Skype for Business is a seasoned player in the space and offers more of less the same features as Zoom. However, Skype for Business is a dominant tool in the Office communications space. Features such as chats, instant messaging, document sharing and audio/video calls have made Skype for Business heavily popular in the enterprises and it enjoys a large share of that market.
Below is a comparison of features between Zoom and Skype for Business.
Skype for Business
Number of participants
50 (2 way participants)
250 (2 way participants)
Individual Meeting URL’s
Yes (with premium accounts)
Phone Conf. Bridge included
Difficult to locate contacts for quick messaging
Easy to find contact and start chatting
File transfer via chat
Virtually hand raise
Chat with attendees
Skype, Zoom and Teams have become an indispensable in ensuring business continuity for organizations in this time of crisis. There is huge competition for market supremacy and firms are adding new features into their portfolio. Nevertheless, issues related to cybersecurity and privacy have also come into light. Companies have to reach a balance in making conferencing accessible, secure and dynamic and ensure that operations remain smooth.
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