Controlling the Client Experience with Skype for Business

Skype for Business will roll out as an update to Lync on April 14th as part of regular Office monthly updates. If you are using Lync Online today with Office 365 ProPlus, Office 365 Business Premium or Office 2013, the updated Skype for Business client—inspired by the look and feel of Skype—will be the default user experience and replace the Lync user experience.  If you are using Lync Server today, the Lync UI will be the default experience.

The good news is that regardless of whether you are using Lync Online or Lync Server, you have the ability to control when the updated experience is rolled out to your users.

The attached PowerPoint presentation provides details on how you can control the client experience with Skype for Business. The document builds on the information provided on this blog - and provides prescriptive guidance for all possible server and UI combinations.

4/13/2015 Update - We have updated the attached PowerPoint file to include an additional option for controlling the UI in Lync Online. Please review the updated deck for additional details.

4/14/2015 - The client updates have now been published and can be found here:

Skype for Business 2015 desktop client (lyncmso)

Skype for Business 2015 desktop client (lynclochelp)

Note: The two links above are still working their way through the system, so please be patient if they are not immediately available.

Please download the latest PowerPoint file from here:

Controlling the Client Experience with Skype for Business_v1.2.pptx

Comments (49)

  1. Hi Will,
    What build number shows up under help.
    Also, how have you configured the server policies?
    Did you configure the first run registry key?

  2. Jenifer – Please connect with Microsoft Support who can help you address the issue of why the client stops working. As far as I know this is not a widespread issue.

  3. Anonymous says:

    @Michael and @gmiga – I did some testing on the Lync Basic client today and was able to get the same message when the Office 2013 SP1 update wasn’t installed. After you install that update, you can apply the patch to the Lync Basic client and get the Skype
    for Business experience.

  4. You are welcome Andy. Thanks for reading, please provide any feedback.

  5. Hi Donna,
    Please try to refresh the page as well and grab the PowerPoint file. We have not yet posted the KB article number for the April update. The attached PowerPoint document describes how you can configure which UI your users will see after they receive the update.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Those updates works with Lync 2013 and Lync Basic both?

  7. Anonymous says:

    @Adam, Sorry – there is no way to prevent the Skype branding in the Outlook plugin after the client update.

    @Steve, I can only guess that some of the clients have not yet downloaded the update and been restarted. Is this still the case for your users?

    @Geoff, Yes, the Lync UI will be default for your users until your servers are updated to Skype for Business. You should be aware that after applying the update the clients will start in Skype for Business mode for the first time and then prompt the users to
    restart. The way to avoid this experience is to use the registry key detailed in the PPT file attached to this post.

  8. Then yes, the second machine has not updated. Office 2013 SP1 is a required baseline. I would check to see if that is installed then I would connect with Microsoft support.

  9. HI Suman, yes please stay tuned for changes coming regarding Skype directory search.

  10. Hi Will, Can you look at the updates that have been deployed to your different groups of users and verify if they have all received the updates referenced in the body of the blog post. It is difficult for me to say "why" this might be occurring without
    doing a bit more troubleshooting. I’d start with comparing the list of updates across al clients and verify the Lync only clients don’t have the updates apply.

  11. Anonymous says:

    @Johan, The release of the Skype for Business client and server does not include the ability to merge your Skype consumer and business accounts. You can however federate with skype contacts using your Skype for Business account if that feature has been
    enabled and configured by the server administrators.

  12. Anonymous says:

    @John in Seattle, Thanks for the feedback. I understand your frustration and please be assured your comments, along with others, will be discussed during our post mortem.

  13. Hi Mark,
    Thanks for sharing your feedback. I understand your feedback and will be sharing it internally with the appropriate parties. Please encourage your TAM to reach out directly to me with the feedback on your behalf as well.

  14. Hi Konrad,
    Yes, these updates apply to both Lync 2013 and Lync basic.

  15. JamesD – I understand your feedback and will be sharing internally with the appropriate parties.

  16. Hi John,

    The existing Lync for Mac client has not been re-branded to Skype for Business however it will continue to work against Skype for Business servers.

  17. Hi Suman. None of the changes described in this blog apply to the Lync 2010 clients when connected to a Skype for Business server. If you wish to keep the Lync 2010 interface you will be able to do that going forward. If you want to upgrade to the new
    Skype for Business UI then you will need to deploy and patch Office 2013.

  18. Hi Gaz,
    The Office 2013 SP1 requirement only updates the Lync client portion so you are not required to upgrade fully to Office 2013. I don’t work with WSUS on a regular basis to give you really good guidance. In general you need to get the client updated to Office
    2013 SP1 in order to apply the April (or now May) PU.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Editor’s note: The following post was written by Windows Consumer Apps MVP Alberto Escalona

  20. Donna Martin says:

    The pptx link goes to a File or directory not found error. I’m looking for the April Office Update number or way to identify the update for my customers to disable. We are on-prem Lync 2013; users have Office 2007, 2010, 2013…

  21. Andy Delk says:

    Thanks for this PPT. It explains a lot.

  22. Christian Burke says:

    Hey Scott, any chance we can update the document to include language around selecting the correct ASSOCIATED DisableSkypeUI Client Policy when assigning a Client Policy to an online user? My output on the ONLINE Get-CsClientPolicy includes multiple DisableSkypeUI
    options for assigning to users. Simply granting the DisableSkypeUI policy would perhaps move them to a policy that has other flags enabled/disabled.

    get-csclientpolicy | select identity,enableskypeui

    Identity EnableSkypeUI
    ——– ————-
    Tag:ClientPolicyDisableSkypeUI False
    Tag:ClientPolicyEnableSkypeUI True
    Tag:ClientPolicyNoSaveIMNoArchivingNoIMURLDisableSkypeUI False
    Tag:ClientPolicyNoIMURLDisableSkypeUI False
    Tag:ClientPolicyNoSaveIMNoArchivingDisableSkypeUI False
    Tag:ClientPolicyDefaultPhotoDisableSkypeUI False
    Tag:ClientPolicyNoSaveIMNoArchivingNoIMURLPhotoDisableSk… False
    Tag:ClientPolicyNoIMURLPhotoDisableSkypeUI False
    Tag:ClientPolicyNoSaveIMNoArchivingPhotoDisableSkypeUI False

  23. Christian Burke says:

    Fantastic. Thanks for letting me know that your current PPT v1.2 includes the request. Very well written.

  24. Suman injeti says:

    how can we enable the Skype directory search in the Skype for business client. is it dependent on Skype for business server?

  25. Suman Injeti says:

    Sure, thank you Scott.

  26. jenifer says:

    After installing and opening the Skype for Business update, we keep getting the error message "Mirosoft Lync has stopped working" and the program force closes. This happens when you try to send an IM, not right when SfB opens.

  27. JamesD says:

    How are we in control when patching changes the icon and applicaiton name? This has been impactful and is forcing us to impactfully/systematically remove the "patches" from our enterprise. This is bad.

  28. jenifer says:

    OK, thanks Scott.

  29. Mark says:

    "The good news is that regardless of whether you are using Lync Online or Lync Server, you have the ability to control when the updated experience is rolled out to your users."

    This is misleading at best. From the PDF my TAM just sent …

    "The April Office update changes the Outlook Add-In used for scheduling Lync meetings in Outlook. While we can put policy or reg key in place to control the Lync client, there is no way to control the changes to the Outlook add-in"

  30. When running the update files on a system with Office 2010 (MSI) and Lync Basic 2013 installed, they say they are not applicable to this system. Is there another way to update Lync Basic when Office 2010 is installed? Thank you.

  31. Another IT Mgr says:

    Thank you for posting the information. It’s very helpful for us in figuring out how we can undo and prevent the changes.

    I understand you’re passing feedback to the appropriate teams. Here’s some more for you. (Also, I’m not directing this at you, as I don’t believe this to be /your/ responsibility, just hoping you’ll relay this along.)

    I’m the IT manager for my organization, and oversee software and patch management. MS has completely flubbed this up. We saw /zero/ advanced notice about this from major news sources, or from our TAM, OR our channel partners. In doing some searching post-mortem,
    the most I can find is an announcement from Apr 4 about the services being rolled out in Thailand. Every other major outlet picked up on this when the patches were released this week.

    Bundling a huge product change as a security update with minimal notice to clients and users, especially one that has such a broad /and/ deep impact as changing your enterprise messaging product from being Lync to Skype, and all the security considerations
    that go along with that, was a major mis-step. We’re having to scramble to pull back the patches because our users are wondering why IT decided to deploy Skype without telling anyone.

    We’re incredibly frustrated by this, and are taking a much closer look at switching to Jabber now.

    I do appreciate the info you’re making available on your blog, though. Thanks for that.

    John in Seattle

  32. Adam Desmond says:

    Scott, do you know if there’s a way to keep the SfB UI but prevent the Outlook Add-in from using "Join Skype Meeting" language in outgoing meeting requests?

  33. Steve Smothers says:

    Half of my users now show the Skype for Business client and half still show the Lync 2013 client and we have a standalone version of Lync Server 2013. So why the mish-mash? All of my clients are on automatic Windows Update…

  34. Geoff Nordin says:

    From what I’m reading, it appears that the Lync user interface will still be the default for on premise implementations. Is this true? We have a large implementation across thousands of users and don’t want their experience to change until we have a chance
    to get ahead of this with some communication.

  35. gmiga says:

    I have Lync Basic installed (Lync Online) . It there an update available to have Skype for business when you have Lync Basic. ?

  36. Johan Lindgren says:

    These are some good news, but how do I merge my old Skype account to the new skype for business? I had tons of contacts in my previous Skype that I would like to incorporate with skype for business

  37. Matt says:

    Can we limit the users to communicate to only internal accounts in our office 365 federated domain?

  38. kumar says:

    We are in O365 E3 and E1, i have updated the Skype for business (SFB) client with April updates but still i could not search the Skype accounts from my SFB and skype directory is not visible. How to enable to this feature

  39. WillITSupport says:

    I have the same problem described by Steve Smothers
    Half of my users now show the Skype for Business client and half still show the Lync 2013 client and we have a standalone version of Lync Server 2013. So why the mish-mash? All of my clients are on automatic Windows Update…

  40. WillITSupport says:

    Hi Scott,
    I’m working on a machine that has both updates installed (KB2889923, KB2889853) but Lync still loads and I don’t see any reference to Skype for Business.


  41. WillITSupport says:


    On my test machine I noticed two Lync 2013 programs under Programs and Features. I uninstalled the older version, rebooted the machine, looked for Skype for Business and there it was. So it seems that update is not updating a specific build. In my case was
    build #: 15.0.4701.1002
    The build left is: 15.0.4569.1506.


  42. John Y says:

    Is there a Mac OS X version for this client?

  43. Erick IT says:

    Will, I had the same issue (some clients will not show Skype, even after the updates), ended up uninstalling Office 2013 for those clients that didn’t auto update, downloaded the new installer from Office 365, which included Skype for Business.

  44. suman says:

    What is the suggested approach for upgrading Lync 2010 clients with backend Skype for business server ?

  45. Gaz says:

    Hi there –
    Curious as to how to upgrade to Skype for Business in a Lync 2013 in house environment ? That still operates with office 2010 ?
    WSUS will not target my clients – and from the thread it appears that I need to download Office 2013 SP1.
    Whats the cleanest solution. Am I forced to upgrade to Office 2013?

  46. Frank says:

    is there an option to turn off the smiley (Provide Feedback) in the right corner of SfB 2015?

  47. Jason says:

    Hey Scott,

    I've noticed a bug in the latest Skype for Business Update that affects Lync 2013 installations (KB3101496) where the title bar is displayed as "Lync".

    What is the best way to submit this to Microsoft?

  48. Hi Jason, thanks for reading and thanks for your question. We (Microsoft) are aware of this issue with the most recent update and are planning to address it in a future update.

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