In October, 2018, we announced a plan to offer the Skype for Business desktop app on Mac as our web-downloadable meetings client instead of Skype Meetings App, starting in December. Due to feedback from customers, we decided to postpone the change. Everything is now in place, and we will make the transition on April 5!
(The Skype Meetings App, or SMA for short, is a web-downloadable meetings app for use when a Skype for Business desktop app is not installed on a computer. SMA is available for meetings hosted on SfB Online or on SfB 2015 Server that is configured to use the online Microsoft Content Delivery Network (CDN).)
In order to provide the best and most stable meeting experience on Mac, we will provide the Skype for Business desktop app for all users. Starting in April, the joining web pages will only offer SfB desktop app for download.
The desktop app brings many advantages over SMA: Screen sharing, audio, and video are significantly more reliable. The meeting experience is built around a larger and more immersive display of video and shared content. Screen sharing from the Mac uses Video-based Screen Sharing (VbSS), which is faster and more reliable than Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) used by SMA. The app has also been optimized to work well with macOS 10.14 (Mojave), including Dark Mode.
We are also making two changes to the desktop app in companion with this change:
First, we are reducing the size of the desktop app installer. The desktop app is larger than SMA, so the download takes 5-10 seconds longer on average. This timing is also dependent on your network connection.
Second, we are adding support in the desktop app for uploading and downloading attachments in meetings, a feature that is available in SMA. The desktop app does not support whiteboard, polls, and Q&A. For a full comparison of Skype for Business for Mac and Skype Meetings App features, see the Supported Meetings Features table in Plan for Meetings clients (Web App and Meetings App).
We are excited to bring these improvements to our Mac users, and we look forward to your continued feedback on Skype for Business!