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. Chris says:

    Anyone else noticed that the visual update appeared to be rolled to Current channel in build 7369.2054, but then just 8 days (and two point builds later) it got removed again? Rolling back to either build 7369.2054 or 7369.2055 gets the new UI, but 7466.2038 reverts it.

    1. Alexandru Zamfir says:

      Yes. Same happened to me.

      1. Riley says:

        I just updated to 7466.2038 from the October release, and I did not get the new visual update. It looks like they need to update their documentation.

  2. Matthias says:

    but there was no Change in dispatching phone calls with consultation call, wich was much more necessary including stability than any Color changes

    1. soder says:

      @Matthias: I guess cosmetic GUI changes can be sold easier to internal MSFT mgmt as “improvement” rather than deep low-level -and actually requested by end customers- enhancements, that will “just” result in the product being working “better”.

  3. Andrew says:

    Our team has found these changes have made it harder to see.

    In a conference its almost impossible to tell if someone is using audio and if they are talking there is no more sound icons.

  4. Corey says:

    This version appears to have resolved the Windows 10 DPI scaling issue I’ve been having (among many others).

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