Microsoft Teams uses next generation Skype Consumer network, not Skype for Business

Satya showing off Microsoft Teams

When Microsoft took the stage last week at New York's Milk Studios to introduce Microsoft Teams, repeated references were made inferring that Teams is "built on Skype." The new supposed "Slack-killer" will allow business users to use Microsoft Teams' "chat based interface" to communicate quickly, keep "channels" of communication open, add GIFs and emoticons as well as documents and links to conversations, and keep everything organized and connected to the rest of Office 365.

But over at the Mastering Lync blog (via Mary Branscombe), Microsoft MVP Richard Brynteson digs in a bit to what's really going on in Teams, and low and behold, it's not built on Skype for Business at all.

Brynteson analyzes the act of sending a message in Teams, finding two different JSON (or JavaScript Object Notation, a way of transmitting data objects marked up by human-readable notation) events, and goes on to explain:

So there are a few items of note that we should discuss at this time:

  • This is absolutely not Skype for Business under the hood.  Microsoft has talked about the next gen Skype Consumer network and this is clearly go to that environment.https://st-client-ss.msg.skype.com/v1/users/ME/conversations/19%3A2a9ad786-8a9b-409c-a29a-19666d549187_fabf899c-a61b-44a3-9623-d269342541b4%40unq.gbl.spaces/messages

  • This is all driven via JSON and web services.  If you look at the language that is being used this is a very modern interface that is be used by several other players in the market.

Brynteson finds the same JSON object notation and same types of next-gen Skype Consumer network language when looking at audio-video sessions, and then concludes:

So again, we see the entire meeting experience is built on top of the Skype Consumer network.  So the key item to know is that Teams sits on that next generation Skype Consumer network and is most likely one step to a much larger consolidation.

Skype has had its share of detractors lately, mired in problems as it moves from an old peer-to-peer network to today's somewhat stopgap effort built on Microsoft technologies, while not yet ready to unleash this new Skype Consumer network architecture. At least with these glances under the hood at Microsoft Teams, we can see that a newer, and hopefully better world is coming for Skype.

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