Installing the Skype for Business Client

First and foremost – RIP Lync 😦

For those that have missed it, Microsoft have now released the Skype for Business client, KB2889923. Although the Skype for Business Server 2015 server components haven’t been released yet, we can still use the new clients against Lync Server 2010 or 2013.

In this post, I will be running through the client experience, when using the new client against a Lync Server 2013 Pool, as well as the experience when changes are made to the client policy switch parameter, EnableSkypeUI.

To be begin with, we will need the following prerequisites installed onto the machine in question;

Without either of those, you may be presented with the following and the installation will end;

Missing PreRequisites

Now before we dive in and apply the update, there are a few important pointers that should be taken into account;

  • Once the update has been applied, users will always see the SfB UI when launching the application for the first time, regardless of the EnableSkypeUI parameter
  • To prevent the above behaviour, we must control the First Launch Client Behaviour, via the system registry GPO
  • Whilst the SfB UI will be presented, after several minutes (in reality, moments), users will be prompted to switch back to Lync Mode.
  • The update can be installed over the SfB Client Preview if you have previously installed that trial

Once the above points have been taken into account and prereqs have been installed, we can continue with the installation of the update. Run the installation file, accepting the EULA, which should complete without any errors.

Installing Update

Installation Complete

Once completed, searching for lync, returns the Sfb Logo over the SfB application, searching for Skype shows a shiny new product called Skype for Business 2015 (and the recording manager!)

Search Lync

Search Skype

Now would be a good point to review the client policy configuration that this user will adhere to; open Lync Management Shell and run the following command;

  • Get-CsClientPolicy | Select-Object Enable SkypeUI

enableSkypeUINulldAt the moment, I have the default setting, which is blank – based on this, lets take a look at the end user experience.

Based on this configuration, when I launched my Skype for Business client, I was immediately presented with the latest interface and prompted with 7 quick tips; in summary those are;Initial Tips

  • Be sure to sign in with your organisation credentials, not a Skype Name or Microsoft Account

First things First

  • Use the search box to find people in your organisation or who use Skype. To keep them hand, right click them and choose add to contacts

Reach People Faster

  • Double click someone in the contact lists and start typing. Yes its really that simple!

Send an IM

  • Hover Over someone in the contacts list and click the call button (Look for the call button in other places too)

Got a lot to say?

  • click the video button while in n IM or Call (or even from the contacts list). We’ll give you a preview so you know you’ll look your best

Lets Start Video!

  • Get together online, its cheaper than flying! Schedule a Skype meeting from your Outlook Calendar

Schedule a meeting!

  • From any conversation, click the present button, to show your desktop or a PowerPoint presentation

Lets get Presenting

Now you have the basics lets get to work 🙂

Several seconds after signing in, I was immediately prompted with the following window, stating I had a newer version of Lync called Skype for Business, it then asked me to switch back to Lync.

Auto Revert to Lync

Selecting restart later allows you to continue using the new interface, although;

  • When this user logs off and back on again – they will automatically have been reverted back to Lync Client UI
  • Any other subsequent users logging on to this machine will sign in with the SfB UI and will be prompted to switch Lync, as per the previous screenshot

It is also important to point out that they EnableSkypeUI parameter takes effect during subsequent client launches in the following ways;

  • When the EnableSkypeUI parameter is set to False – the Switch to Lync prompt appears
  • When the EnableSkypeUI parameter is set to True – the Switch to Lync prompt does not appear and the user is permitted to user SfB client


This would be a good point to discuss the First Client Launch Behaviour

As we have seen, by default when launching the SfB client for the first time, the SfB UI is always presented, regardless of the EnableSkypeUI parameter.

When the above prompt is displayed, a registry entry is automatically created, which enforces the Lync Client UI for this particular user.

To prevent this from happening, ensuring the Lync Client UI is the interface displayed first time upon launch we must complete the following steps before the client is launched

  1. Run Set-CsClientPolicy “desired scope” -EnableSkypeUI $False
  2. Update the system registry and specify a Value Name of EnableSkypeUI with the Value Data set to 00 00 00 00, in the following location HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\Lync] 
  3. This of course can be deployed via GPO of handling multiple machines.

Enable Skype UI Registry

The above key is essentially the same as the key the client creates during the response to the UI Switch prompt. If you do not create the above key manually, it will be automatically created when selecting a response to the prompt.

Microsoft have also put together the following tables, that summarise the Default Client Experience

The first table shows the initial client experience based on server version and the UI setting;

Default Client Experience

The table below sows the client experience wen adminsitrators change the initial setting for the Skype UI experience.

Default Client Experience 2



Feature Skype for Business UI Lync 2013 UI
Skype First Run Intro Yes No
New Emoticons Yes Yes
Call Monitor Yes No
Call via work (on Skype for Business Server) Yes No
Remote Call Control No Yes
Rate my Call end of call surveys Yes Yes
Server Side conversation history (on Skype for Business Server) Yes Yes
Skype Consumer Video interop Yes Yes


Hopefully that will shed some light for those wondering what the actual process looks like from an end user perspective, with an overview as to how Administrators can control the experience.

To learn how this can be done, when consuming Office 365 Skype for Business Online click here.

For more information around the client awareness, roll and adoption, take a look at the following;

Client Awareness and Readiness Resources

Office Blogs – Controlling the Client Experience

TechNet Blogs – Functionality Availabler per UI




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s