New Skype for Business 2016 look and feel coming your way…


What is happening?

The user interface on the Skype for Business 2016 C2R (click to run) client will have some changed visual elements. Some of the examples of these changes are:

On the main window, you’ll notice the new look to the following elements:


When you hover over a contact’s photo, you’ll notice the modality icons have changed as well:


When you open a conversation window, you’ll notice several changes:



Why is this happening?

The new client visuals are part of a large amount of work (both visual and internal) Microsoft has done to make Skype for Business 2016 more accessible so that it can be enjoyed by more people around the world.  One example of this effort is the slight variation in color changes which provides greater text-to-background contrast to empower those with low vision to more easily distinguish parts of the interface.  We also improved screen reader support, simplified keyboard navigation and made the keyboard focus easier to see in many places.  For more information on the overall goal of Microsoft to enable all users go to:


When will this happen?

All dates are an estimate and subject to change.

Early Adopters on the Current Channel and First Release for Deferred channel will see these changes in early November, 2016, whereas organization members on the Deferred Channel will see these changes in February, 2017. 

For more information on how the update channels for Office 365 ProPlus work, please see the following page:


I would encourage you to provide your feedback and submit questions in the Skype for Business Tech Community at the following address:

Comments (14)

  1. soder says:

    The plan is to keep MSI version unchanged, as a result causing feature disparity between onprem and online client GUI?

    1. Kris-MSFT says:

      Hi Soder, the plan is for these changes to make it into the .msi, we just do not yet have a time frame on when that will occur.

      1. Larry says:


        Will they also role out these changes to users using the PSTN calling features of Office 365?

  2. Ryan Bess says:

    Will the Office 15 S4B client get the new UI?

  3. Alexandru Zamfir says:

    MSF Team,

    Last week I was enjoying the new look and feel of SfB Client but after yesterday update the old one is back. Is this something expected? How can I activate the new skin?

    Kind regards,

  4. Menz01 says:

    can anyone explain to me what happened?? I got the notice about the color changes and then a week or so later I got the changes. today when I came in, everything went back to the way it was before the change. what happened??

  5. Jess says:

    I’m on current channel for C2R, but haven’t seen the update yet. Is there a way to do this manually? Thank you.

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