Change in Lync 2013 System Tray Icon with July 2013 Updates

Updated: September 16, 2013 : As mentioned in the comments, the September 2013 update for Lync 2013 reverts the System Tray functionality back to the pre-July 2013 update.  HOWEVER, as also mentioned...a bug causing issues with Outlook was found and the release has been pulled.  They are working on fixing the update and will re-release it shortly.

UPDATED July 10, 2013 : Based on negative feedback from customers, the Lync Product Group is planning on reverting this change.  No ETA / Target CU has been given.

As part of Cumulative Update 2 for the Lync 2013 client, the Lync Product Group has made a change that users will need to be aware of.

Since Live Communications Server (LCS) and the Communicator client, the Lync System Tray Icon has always changed colors to indicate your status as it's seen by others (e.g. Green means available, Red means busy, Yellow means away, etc).

Starting with the July 2013 Security Update for Lync 2013 and Cumulative Update 2 for the Lync 2013 Client (not yet released as of this post's writing on July 9, 2013)...the Lync 2013 System Tray icon has been changed to simply be the blue Lync 2013 logo:

It no longer will change colors to show your status.  To see your status, you will need to hover your mouse over the icon:

This change was made to align Lync 2013 with the overall Office 2013 design standard for the System Tray icons.  I wanted to make people aware of this change as it is something users will see after the July 2013 Security Update is deployed and is a major change in the way the Lync System Try icon works.

Comments (32)
  1. c5thunder says:

    Glad I came across this article before I tore into my PC to 'fix' Lync. Next time MS decides to make a boneheaded move like this, please, at the very least announce it. A systray pop-up saying "1 step forward, 2 steps back" would've done the trick.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Terrible change. Let's hope MS reverts it back…

  3. There was a lot of negative feedback to this change, and the Product Group heard it (loud and clear) and will be reverting things back.  Unfortunately, I don't have an ETA yet.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Formatting messages on the fly no longer seems to work as well: CTRL B U I no longer do bold, underline, italics.

    A bunch of backwards updates it seems.

  5. irritated says:

    I think this was a dumb choice. 🙁  Boo Microsoft.  Seeing the color indication of your status was highly useful… this is dumb.  The user has to move the mouse and hover instead of just shifting his/her eyes for a millisecond?  Boo.  At least add the color square on top of it like the Taskbar icon. 🙁

  6. Matt Schultz says:

    Thanks for responding to the customer feedback on the status icon issue.  Looking forward to the future update that will revert this change.

    We've also noticed that the icon for the new Meetings pane in the main Lync window does not appear correctly after installing the July 2013 Security Update.  Is this a known issue?

  7. Billy Gates says:

    Maybe keep the logo, but have it change colors on your status… And maybe next time run these changes through some end users before releasing it…

  8. Chandrakant Wadkar says:

    "This change was made to align Lync 2013 with the overall Office 2013 design standard for the System Tray icons" ….. I wonder what these stupid standards are… Why do MS screws something that is working brilliant so far… Anyway.. I m happy that its being reverted.

  9. Max S. says:

    Ever since Metro UI and putting menu labels in ALL CAPS, seems like Microsoft's design guidelines are a bit of a hot mess.

  10. Patrick D says:

    Thank goodness!  I was screaming this morning when I updated and found the status changes were no longer viewable on the icon.  Hopefully update will come out soon, but not holding my breath.

  11. Jason says:

    It also looks like you can't make the main window smaller. It takes up more realestate. This CU Update imo brings more issues than it actually fixes.

  12. Clark says:

    Can we uninstall this updates manually? How?

  13. Xuggs says:

    I even ended up uninstalling Lync thinking my installation went busted. Feel like a dumb-ass. Thanks MS!

  14. timread says:

    Don't change it back. This icon looks WAY better.

  15. stevec5 says:

    I think this was a bad change and welcome that change back to show a user's presence.  

    Here is a thought, would be possible, to give the user a choice?  Those 2 or 3 who want the standard logo can keep it but the rest of us who liked having the presence status displayed can have it our way.  Could this just be added as a check box  under Tools>Options>General ?

  16. MattW says:

    I agree, having it be a choice in the options menu would be fantastic.  I have just deployed Lync in our environment and I've gotten half saying that they hate the design of the presence indicator in the system tray because it doesn't match up to the icon, and half that say that they don't mind it.  I personally like the new icon myself, because if I want to see my status I just look at my list, but I know every environment is different so having a choice would be perfect.

  17. ummone says:

    Bad decision remove system tray color icon, and great decision go back!!

    Laura project is not good solution:

  18. KR says:

    One thing I've come to expect from MS (and many other software providers) – developers always think their "cool" upgrades are an improvement.  In reality, they fail to understand the simple mantra in everyday life – if it isn't broken, don't fix it!  (Or don't attempt a fix without beta testing by real-world users).

  19. DagonR says:

    Thanks for posting.  I was scratching my head to understand why this changed.  I definitely look forward to it getting changed back!

  20. DagonR says:

    Actually, the icon change they should had made was to change the Lync icon to a different color than the Outlook icon.  I think that, in addition to the missing presence status indicator, is a good reason to change the icon.  I have several times following this latest update clicked Lync in the system tray when I meant to click Outlook.  Or change Outlook back to Orange.

  21. mike says:

    Agreed – this was a bad choice of design over functionality. Thanks so much for confusing my users even further and I'm glad all the negativity has Microsoft reverting course on this. I agree with one of the other posters – I have no problem with you changing from the loop to the logo but have the logo change colors to indicate status. Otherwise, leave it alone – it worked great as it was.

  22. nick says:

    Terrible decision. Microsoft must enjoy reducing the productivity of the end user.

  23. Bob Hyatt says:

    Very illogical MSFT.  Still no ETA on the undo?

  24. mike says:

    MS please bring back the color changing system tray icon. Productivity is more important to the end user than "bringing in line" your products. Then again, when has MS ever sincerely put the end user's needs first….

  25. flinchbot says:

    The latest Office 2013 patch released this Tuesday, September 10 fixes this issue. However, this patch was pulled on this last Wednesday (September 14). So the fix will be released very shortly. This is yet another reason why the Lync client should be handled by the Lync team and not the Office team as the Lync team has a much better idea of what they are doing.

  26. alan says:

    I liked the way it was.

  27. Ronald says:

    It's been quite a while now, for a seemingly easy fix. Is there any update as to when we can expect the color scheme for Lync presence to return?

  28. Jeff25 says:

    It never ceases to amaze me how MS can make so many bad decisions.  Office 2013 is a huge step back from 2010 and what clown thought that the Lync system tray icon change was a good idea????

  29. nick says:

    They fixed it! But wait it is Microsoft so what awful "enhancement" can they add? In the IM window you see your own picture every time you IM someone and when they IM you back it shows there picture which is already at the top.

    Who is making these awful changes???

  30. Dumbo says:

    Nick….That was really an awful change eating up the chat space. Alteast they should have given a chat style preference if a feature is new. After the November update, my taskbar and start menu has Lync icon but the system tray displays the Communicator icon. These updates really suck.

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