Apr 2015

Skype for Business – Controlling Client UI Options for Lync Customers

Microsoft’s April 2015 update for Lync 2013 client provided for the official rebranding to Skype for Business (SfB) client. In our previous blog, we focused on the launch, on the new features, and the rollout schedule.

In this blog, I’ll focus on what the change means for administrators.

What does this mean and how does this affect me?

For existing customers, Microsoft will automatically update the Lync Online service to be Skype for Business Online. Once it’s deployed, users running Lync 2013 clients, upon starting their client, will be presented the new SfB user interface (UI), and will receive the following notification:







Should the user choose to restart later they may use the new SfB UI, however when they do subsequently close and attempt to restart the application they will find their Lync shortcuts no longer exist as they too have been replaced with the SfB rebranding, adding to the confusion.


What should I do?

A decision needs to be made. Do you wish to support SfB client UI or keep the current Lync 2013 UI? I’d suggest this rebranding is an exciting change, not something to be afraid of. It brings together the best of Lync and Skype consumer user interfaces in an attractive and highly productive new interface.

We’ve found our own Ensyst users, familiar with Lync 2013, have made the transition quite seamlessly. Therefore, we recommend our customers support the change, however, we suggest the change be communicated to users to avoid potential confusion.

The new interface sounds great. Now what do it need to do?

If you want to use the new interface, simply logon to your Lync server environment and apply the client policy change to all your client policies in PowerShell: Get-CsClientPolicy | Set-CsClientPolicy -EnableSkypeUI $true Or selectivity choose a policy to modify: Set-CsClientPolicy <policyname> -EnableSkypeUI $true

I prefer to stay on the current Lync 2013 UI for the time being. How can I achieve this?

If you’d prefer to stay with the Lync interface for now, and manage this change later, leave your client policy for EnableSkypeUI as $null or $false Create a Group Policy Object (GPO) to modify the registry on your domain joined machines. This GPO must be applied before the April 2015 (KB2889923) Lync client update is deployed. Create the GPO with the following parameters:


2015-04-20 12_43_29-Switching between the Skype for Business and the Lyn...








Once the GPO is assigned to the relevant Active Directory OU, and verified, it has applied successfully. You may safely release the April 2015 Lync client update. The client will automatically log in as the original Lync 2013 UI without prompting the end user to restart their clients.

For further information, a detailed breakdown of both processes is available on the Microsoft Office Support site.

Leave a Reply