We are all going to get a new client for Lync and it is going to look a lot more like Skype. But here’s an interesting thing. With this new client, named “Skype for Business Client” now you or in many instances the administrator of your organization has the ability to change the UI of the client, either to;
- Skype for Business Client
- Lync 2013 Client
This new Dual User Experience mode that controls the Lync/Skype UI is managed via in-band settings. The client is by default configured to check for the Server Version of the environment and set up the looks. The below table lists what you may see by default.
|Server Version||Default Client UI|
|Skype for Business on-prem||Skype for Business|
|Skype for Business Online||Skype for Business|
|Lync Server 2013||Lync 2013|
|Lync Server 2010||Lync 2013|
Although this is the case, the Lync/S4B administrator always have the option to change the UI via changing in-band policy settings that will manually override the default UI. There will be a Client Policy parameter that will determine the default UI for users within the organization. To enable the Skype UI and Lync 2013 UI the following commands can be run from the server end respectively.
Set-CSClientPolicy -EnableSkypeUI: true
Set-CSClientPolicy -EnableSkypeUI: false
So what happens from the users end? Head over to REGEDIT, Navigate to
and notice the value for EnableSkypeUI;
- 00 00 00 01 – Skype for Business UI
- 00 00 00 00 – Lync 2013 UI
However, there’s a catch. Based on the UI that you choose to have, the features may vary as show below.
|Feature||Skype UI||Lync UI|
|First Run Experience||Yes||No|
|Call and Video Monitor||Yes||No|
|Call via Work||Yes||No|
|Rate my call||Yes||Yes|
|Server side conversation history||Yes||Yes|
|Skype-Lync Video Interop||Yes||Yes|
Update: Amanda Debler has written a nice piece of code that will help you to get the UI switched in seconds, you can grab the powershell script here.
Please note that the above information is provided “AS IS” with no warranties, and confers no rights. The content may be changed as and when the finalized information is been publically announced by Microsoft.