Do you have the Lync 2013 client deployed? If so - DO THIS NOW!

Today "Patch Tuesday" (14th April) Microsoft are pushing out an update(s) for the Lync 2013 client (KB2889853 and KB2889923).

This will change the look and feel of the client from standard Lync 2013:

To the Skype for Business 2015 client:

In addition the sounds will change.

There are three things you need to do in order of importance:
  1. Get a registry entry onto *EVERY* PC in your organisation so that your users do not see the new interface, this can best be configured with a GPO which sets the following reg key:

    In the [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\Lync] key, create a new Binary value.
    The Value name must be EnableSkypeUI, and the Value data must be set to 00000000.

    This will make sure that the first time that the new client runs (prior to getting the in-band policy we are going to look at in step 3 - but don't skip ahead, read this all!) then it loads in the familiar Lync 2013 interface.
  2. Ensure your Lync Servers are patched to:
    1. 2010 - Feb 2015 CU (4.0.7577.710)
    2. 2013 - Dec 2014 CU (5.0. 8308.857)
  3. Set the following policy on your Lync Servers:

    Get-CsClientPolicy | Set-CsClientPolicy -EnableSkypeUI $False

    This will set the in-band policy to also write the registry value as specified in point 1 above but in-band polices only apply after the end user has logged in, so if you do not set the registry value your end users will see the following:

    Which means end users can decide to run with the Skype for Business UI for as long as they are logged in (with the associated ServiceDesk calls "why does this look different?" et al.)
One important note - if you have users who are on un-managed machines (Home Use Program, purchased the DVD from PC World, et al) then you cannot manage the first run experience. Those users can see the new Skype for Business until the registry key gets set by the in-band policy.

Additional reading:


  1. I think the changes are so subtle and essentially just cosmetic changes at this point, that you don't need to block it back at the old UI. I've only just rolled out Lync so me and my users are just getting familiar with it anyway and I'm using it with Office 365.

    1. I agree, but there are lots of reasons to not roll it out such as ensuring compatibility with addins (contact centre software is the usual suspect here!).

      The custom software that we sell at Modality has all been tested with Skype for Business and work :-)

  2. copy and pasting still sucks.

    1. This is now better in the May 2015 update, my colleague Tom Arbuthnot has detailed this in his blog post:

  3. Thanks for that Tobie
    One question, if EnableSkypeUI is disabled on both the client side and the back end as you described, does the resultant UI not only look like Lync, but say Lync across the top and not display Skype icons?
    Thanks in Advance, Mark Phillips

    1. In my mind its easier to think of it as the Skype UI with a Lync skin as many parts (like the Outlook the Meeting option) are changed to Skype. My colleague Tom Arbuthnot has detailed this in his blog post: