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Tom Arbuthnot MCSM Communications

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Important Changes coming to the Lync 2013 Client UI/UX in the April 2015 Client Patch

Published 10/04/2015 - 14 Comments

It’s an exciting time as Lync is rebranded to Skype for Business. I spend a lot of my time saying what I do is “Enterprise Skype” so I really think this naming will make sense to end users.

During this branding transition some changes are coming to the Lync 2013 client that are important to understand.

There are a few variations on how the changes might affect you/your users depending on if you are on Lync Server or Lync Online and if you have a standard Office install (from “CD”/MSI) or a “click to run” office install.

For the MSI install the patch will be a standard CU/Windows Update, for “click to run” it will be pushed out as an update from April 14th, due to the way click to run updates are pushed over a content delivery network it can take up to 2 weeks for the patch to download/apply to users, hence the vagueness of some of the dates given.

For simplify this blog post will only be about Lync Server and standard Lync 2013 Desktop client MSI install. See the question about Lync Online/Office 365/Skype for Business Online for specific Office 365 information.

 

What is happening with the April 2015 Lync 2013 Desktop Client Patch?

The “Skype for Business” client, is not a separate client, it can be thought of as a “Skype for Business UI Skin/mode” for the current Lync 2013 client. This April client 2015 patch (there is no patch ID/name yet but it will be a standard “windows update” patch for the client) will add the Skype for Business Skin to the Lync 2013 client. You can then run it in “Lync Skin mode” or “Skype for Business Skin mode”

 

I don’t want to move to the Skype for Business UI yet, how do I stick with the Lync 2013 UI?

Without any configuration, the client will check the server version it is connecting to and match, If you are on Lync Server 2010 or Lync Server 2013 if will default to the “Lync 2013 Skin”, so if you have Skype for Business Server (unlikely) the client will launch and stay in Skype for Business mode

    • “Restart Skype for Business”: After the patch, the client will default to Skype for Business UI, then check the server version, see it is Lync Sever 2010 or 2013 and ask the user to restart in “Lync UI Mode”. To make the client run in “Lync Mode” on first run after the patch, you must have set a registry key on the client desktop before the patch.  If you set that reg key below on the client machine you can avoid the first run being in Skype for Business mode.

In the [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\Lync] key, create a new Binary value.

The Value name must be EnableSkypeUI   , and the Value data must be set to 00 00 00 00

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  • Even with the registry key/Lync Server In band Policy set to “Lync Mode”, and running in “Lync 2013 UI mode”, the following changes still apply. There is no option to avoid these changes once the patch is deployed:

     

  • Meeting links and the Outlook Meeting Button will be “Skype” Branded in Lync mode

    Consider that even for users not using Skype for Business client, they may still receive invites with this new meeting link from Skype for Business client users

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    • The client sounds (Incoming IM, ringing etc.), will all be Skype Sounds in Lync mode

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    • The Program Icon will be Skype for Business Branded in Lync mode

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    • The taskbar icon will also be Skype for Business in Lync mode

image

    • The Recording Manager will be branded Skype for Business in Lync mode

image

image

 

 

I want to use the Skype for Business UI as soon as I get the Patch, how do I do that?

Great. Without any configuration, the client will boot in Skype For business UI, check the server version it is connecting to and match, so if you have Skype for Business Server (unlikely) the client will launch and stay in Skype for Business mode. If you are on Lync Server 2010 or 2013 it will ask you to reboot into “Lync UI Mode”. To keep the client in “Skype for Business UI” on Lync Server 2010 or 2013 you need to:

Set a Lync Server in band Policy with PowerShell. Your Lync 2010 Server must be patched to Feb 2015 CU 4.0.7577.710 and/or your Lync 2013 Server must be patched to December 2014 CU 5.0.8308.857 or later for this policy to be available. All your you want users to be in Skype for Business client mode must be running at these CU levels or higher. You can set/create this policy at a global, site/pool or user level as appropriate.

Set-CsClientPolicy -EnableSkypeUI $true

Or set a registry key on the users client machine (available regardless of your Lync Server CU version):

In the [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\Lync] key, create a new Binary value.

The Value name must be EnableSkypeUI   , and the Value data must be set to 01 00 00 00   .

This registry key could be pushed out by GPO. It is better to do a create rather than Replace or Update so you don’t potentially get stuck in a position where the registry conflicts with the in band policy.

 

Should I move to the new UI?

I’ve personally been using it for quite some time  and prefer it. I would suggest you spend some time understanding the new UI and consider any change communications/training requirements you might have. The polices/registry keys above allow you to start with a pilot/trial group. Considering the changes to the Lync 2013 experience, there might be some value in doing the “big change” rather than one small change, then the Skype for Business change.

 

Which Features are available in each client mode?

Feature Skype for Business UI Lync 2013 UI
Skype First Run Intro Yes No
New Emoticons Yes Yes
Call Monitor Yes No
Call via work (on Skype for Business Server) Yes No
Remote Call Control No Yes
Rate my Call end of call surveys Yes Yes
Server Side conversation history (on Skype for Business Server) Yes Yes
Skype Consumer Video interop Yes Yes

Can I just not roll out this patch?

You can certainly hold off the patch, but it’s a standard CU, not a specific patch to make the client “Skype for Business” enabled. So, as I understand it, you won’t be able to get future CU’s or security updates without adding the Skype for Business UI.

 

What about the “Lync 2013 Basic Client” / Is there a Skype for Business Basic client?

The Lync 2013 Basic client is a standard MSI client and everything above regarding the patch applies. The basic client will get the “Skype for Business skin/mode”.

I use Office 365/Lync Online (now called Skype for Business Online), how does this affect me?

All the information above applies, you will get the same MSI or click to run patch, the difference is since Lync Online is being re-branded to Skype for Business Online, when your client is updated, it will check and see it is running against Skype for Business Online and stay in the “Skype for Business UI mode” by default.

I want to use the “Lync UI” with Lync Online/Skype for Business Online, how can I do that?

With Lync Online/Skype For business online the “Skype UI” will be the defautl, to change this you can set the same client desktop registry key:

In the [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\Lync] key, create a new Binary value.

The Value name must be EnableSkypeUI   , and the Value data must be set to 00 00 00 00

This registry key could be pushed out by GPO. It is better to do a create rather than Replace or Update so you don’t potentially get stuck in a position where the registry conflicts with the in band policy.

Or you can set the following policy on Lync Online / Skype for Business Online

To set on Lync Onlne / Skype for Business Online on your tenant globally

grant-csclientpolicy –PolicyName ClientPolicyDisableSkypeUI

To set on Lync Onlne / Skype for Business Online on your tenant per user:

grant-csclientpolicy [email protected] -PolicyName ClientPolicyDisableSkypeUI

You will want to do either of these ahead of the patch rolling out ideally. If you do the registry key you can avoid the Skype for Business UI in first run. If you set the Lync Online/Skype for Business Policy your users will boot in the Skype UI then be asked to restart.

What about mobile clients?

There is no public information on the Skype for Business mobile clients at this stage.

Is Lync 2010 Client affected in any way?

No, Lync 2010 client is unaffected. It will remain with the Lync 2010 client UI

 

What Resources are available to help me understand this transition/inform my users?

Tom Arbuthnot

Tom Arbuthnot

Principal Solutions Architect at Modality Systems
Tom Arbuthnot is Principal Solutions Architect at Unified Communications specialist Modality Systems. He is a Microsoft Certified Master and MVP, blogger, regular on The UC Architects Podcast, and speaker at events including Microsoft TechEd and Ignite. He co-runs The Microsoft UC User Group London.

14 comments

Shawn Harry - 13/04/2015 Reply

Good info Tom. It would have been preferable if MS were more consistent with the ability to switch UI’s as even with the ability to continue to use the Lync 2013 skin, pretty much everything else is branded as Skype, and not even as ‘Skype for Business’. It’s a minor detail but I’m sure in many Enterprise environments this will cause confusion with some presuming the ‘Skype Meeting’ is the consumer version of Skype. Or some having a problem with the new Skype audio sounds or even with the new skype logo and initial launch splash screen when in Lync 2013 UI mode.
Ideally MS should have created separate packages for each. For large Enterprise organisations that would have been the preferable approach as re-branding introduces procedural change that some organisations aren’t ready for yet. It also means they can’t stay current in terms of security patches/updates until they’re ready to deploy the new UI and the ancillary changes it introduces.

Anthony - 14/04/2015 Reply

Not Sure if im doing anything wrong here but running the Set-CsClientPolicy -EnableSkypeUI $true on Lync 2013

Comes up with an error EnableSkypeUI comes up with a parameter cannot be found error and i cann’t see that parameter listed in the default GLobal Policy

I am running latest CU of 5.0.8308.872

markwilson.it » Lync becomes Skype for Business today – a quick round-up of what that means - 14/04/2015 Reply

[…] Important Changes coming to the Lync 2013 Client UI/UX in the April 2015 Client Patch. […]

Microsoft releases April 2015 update for Lync/Skype for Business client | Just a Lync Guy - 14/04/2015 Reply

[…] Important Changes coming to the Lync 2013 Client UI/UX in the April 2015 Client Patch […]

Anthony - 15/04/2015 Reply

Yes pools are patched with latest and report 5.0.8308.872 as latest version

And all configured and confirmed with update tool

The only anomaly is see is using Pat Richard Get-UpdateVersion Script it lists Pool Version as 5.0.8308.872 but reports Lync Server Update as

5.0.8308.872 Lync Server 2013 CU7 – Oct. 2014

kurt - 16/04/2015 Reply

I have the same issue as Anthony. I too used the update utility. I have one front end server and one edge server that both show green checkmarks on the upgrade utility for each piece. I do see in the control panel in the upper right the .872 version.

The Skype for Business Client UI Controller Script | Inside Lync - 17/04/2015 Reply

[…] or visit one of the many good write-up’s like fellow Lync MVP Tom Arbuthnot’s write-up here: Important Changes coming to the Lync 2013 Client UI/UX in the April 2015 Client Patch). In a nutshell, the type of UI ‘skin’ that is used depends on a combination of backend server […]

Wade - 06/05/2015 Reply

The Lync client in the office automatically detected the server and continued to use the 2013 client. At home though, Skype For Business started as soon as the patch was installed and before the EnableSkypeUI registry key could be set. How do I now reset the Skype For Business to revert back to running the Lync 2013 client at home?

May Lync / Skype For Business Client Update bring Security Fix and New Features | Tom Talks UC - 14/05/2015 Reply

[…] this patch also includes the previously released Lync 2013/Skype for Business UI changes, be sure you understand […]

Herbert - 01/06/2015 Reply

I have found the following microsoft document/link regarding lync server and remote call control (RCC).


Remote call control users in your organization who are homed on Front End Servers running Lync Server can continue to use remote call control, even if they are using a Skype for Business client. However, for any users homed on Skype for Business Server, remote call control is not supported.

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg558658.aspx

    Tom Arbuthnot - 01/06/2015 Reply

    Interesting, this is a change from what I originally understood. Be good to know if anyone has tested this.

    thanks for sharing!

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