Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Skype for Business Dual UI Client Logic

Today I joined the webcast on the Skype for Business Dual UI Client Logic. It was a separate presentation in the same style as the readiness series to prepare Lync admins for the coming switch to Skype for Business and Skype for Business Online. The information focused on the coming client and its ability to swap between a Lync 2013 GUI or a Skype for business GUI with simple settings. A recording will available within a week from today.

Kaushal Mehta presented in a clear pedagogical order. The most confusing thing is if this information is public or not. At first it was said that it is for "internal use only", but then it was said it is not confidential and can be shared with customers, but subject to change at anytime before the official Skype for business release. So, if anyone from Microsoft have objections to this blog post - please let me know.

On April 14 (aka patch Tuesday) the Office 2103 patch will upgrade existing Lync 2013 clients as part of Office 2013 to Skype for business. This means that administrators must choose how to handle the GUI of the new Skype for business client. There is a new parameter (EnableSkypeUI) in the CsClient policy and a 2 new custom policies in Office 365 to control this behavior. The following two tables explain the parameters for Skype for business server (on-prem) and Office 365.

The Skype for business server (on-prem) parameter in client policy

The two new custom policies in Office 365

On April 14 an update to an existing Lync 2013 client will become available, there will not be a new client available for download at this time. To get Skype for business on a new computer Office 2013 or Lync 2013 must be installed first, and then updated with the patch coming on April 14th. Skype for business 2015 server (the on-prem version) will be available on May 1, and in Office 365 we can already find the two new policies; so all that is changing on April 14 is really the client part.

Some QnA from today’s session:

Has documentation been published that provides all of these details and scenarios?
and documentation for Skype for business Online will be released shortly.

When will there be training videos from Microsoft to cover the new SkypeUI?
Here is a download link for the Skype for Business client awareness and readiness resources.

Can the S4B client run with a Lync 2010 Server?
Yes, the policy applies to Lync 2010 server as well.

The "Latest Lync 2013 Server patch" - does this mean March 2015 CU for Lync 2013?
It means December 2014 CU (5.0.8308.857) for Lync 2013 and February 2015 CU (4.0.7577.710) for Lync 2010. (so maybe "latest" is not the best wording - but it covers us for future releases.)

Will the -EnableSkypeUI be available on Lync 2013 servers only?
No, the Policy will be available on latest Lync 2013 Servers and coming Skype for business servers.

Does the client policy have to be set per user or can it be set globally across the org as a default setting?
It is a "CsClientPolicy" setting which can be set globally, and/or by site, and/or by user.

Is the update a part of a bigger office update or is it a targeted Lync client update?
This change is coming as part of a larger Office 2013 update.

Will the flag also control the meeting icon in Outlook, Skype or Lync meeting?
No, the flags covered in this presentation only control the Lync/Skype for Business client interface. All other connection points in Office will refer to Skype for Business.

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