How to switch between Skype for Business and Lync Client UI

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
New Emoticons Yes Yes
Call and Video Monitor Yes No
Call via Work Yes No
RCC No Yes
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.


Skype for Business Server 2015 – Hardware/Software Requirements

Hardware recommended for servers

Skype for Business Server supports the same hardware as Lync Server 2013

Hardware Component Recommended
CPU 64-bit dual processor, hex-core, 2.26 gigahertz (GHz) or higher.Intel Itanium processors are not supported for Skype for Business Server server roles.
Memory 32 GB
Disk 8 or more 10,000 RPM hard disk drives with at least 72 GB free disk space.-Two of the disks should use RAID 1, and six should use RAID 10.OR-Solid state drives (SSDs) which provide performance similar to 8 10,000-RPM mechanical disk drives.
Network 1 dual-port network adapter, 1 Gbps or faster (2 recommended, which requires teaming with a single MAC address and single IP address).

Operating System Support

Standard/Enterprise Edition or Datacenter Edition can use any of the following:

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 or latest service pack
  • Windows Server 2012
  • Windows Server 2012 R2

Note: Unlike the predecessors of the Lync family, the underlying Operating System will be playing a key role for Skype for Business Server 2015. This is due to the underlying architecture of the Lync High Availability in an Enterprise environment is based on Windows Fabric component, which is part of the Windows Server Operating System.

Operating System Default Windows Fabric version
Windows Server 2012 R2 Windows Fabric v3
Windows Server 2012 Windows Fabric v3
Windows Server 2008 R2* Windows Fabric v3
Windows Server vNext

*You should only be using Windows Server 2008 R2 when you have existing servers with Lync Server 2013 already installed, and you’re intending to do an in-place upgrade of them.

Therefore, Recommended Operating System: Windows Server 2012 R2

Additional software requirements


  • Lync Server 2013 CU5+ or latest hotfix if Upgrading from Lync Server 2013
  • Powershell v 6.2.9200.0 or later
  • SQL Server 2012 SP1 for Enterprise Edition
  • Following Operating System hotfixes
    • Windows Server 2008 R2  – KB2633623
    • Windows Server 2012 – KB2858668
    • Windows Server 2012 R2 – KB2982006

Standard Edition server database

  • Microsoft SQL Express 2014 (bundled in the FE server(s))

Back-end database of a Front End pool, Archiving database, Monitoring database, persistent chat database, and persistent chat compliance database

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2012
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2014

Database High Availability Support

  • SQL Mirroring
  • SQL Clustering
  • SQL Always On Availability Groups*
  • Synchronous Writes to Back End*

*New features

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.

Lync App for Windows 8 now available

Microsoft® Lync® is an enterprise-ready unified communications platform. With Lync, users can keep track of their contacts’ availability; send an IM; start or join an audio, video, or web conference; or make a phone call—all through a consistent, familiar interface. Lync is built to fully integrate with Microsoft Office. The Microsoft Lync 2010 desktop client is available for Windows and for Mac and mobile versions are available for Windows Phone, iPhone/iPad, and Android devices.

Lync client, which is the end user tools provide a single client to facilitate all the functions mentioned above. Couple of days ago, Microsoft released the next Generation of their Office suite which contained Office 2013, SharePoint Server 2013, Exchange Server 2013 and Lync Server 2013. Unlike in earlier times, Microsoft has decided to ship the client version of Lync 2013 to be a part of the Office 2013 Package.

However, today(26th Oct 2013) a major yet a silent release was shown on the Windows Store.

Say hello, to Lync for Windows 8!


This is Lync reimagined for the new Windows Experience and optimized for touch: providing fast, natural, hands-on control of your communications. Lync meets all your communication and collaboration needs: integrating voice & video calls, Lync Meetings, presence and IM in a fast, fluid, easy-to-use app.


  • Communicate from anywhere with an Internet connection.
  • Easily switch between IM, voice, or video or use all at once.
  • Stay connected to your colleagues with real-time status updates, rich presence information and fast and fluid contact list search and management.
  • Join Lync Meetings with a single touch and easily switch between IM, group video, and content views.
  • Stay connected while reducing resource consumption — Lync provides background and connected standby connectivity so you never miss an important conversation.
  • Use Windows search to find and communicate with your colleagues.
  • Snap view — Need to reference another app or website while using Lync? Lync can snap to the side of your screen so you can multi-task and use both apps at the same time.

Recommended hardware

  • Camera
  • Microphone

Supported processors

  • x86
  • x64
  • ARM

Supported languages

Arabic (Saudi Arabia), Chinese (China), Chinese (Taiwan), Dutch (Netherlands), English (United States), French (France), German (Germany), Hebrew (Israel), Italian (Italy), Japanese (Japan), Korean (Korea), Portuguese (Brazil), Russian (Russia), Spanish (Spain)

 IMPORTANT:  Microsoft Lync won’t work without Lync Server or an Office 365/Lync Online account.  Also, some functionality might require an update to Lync Server or might not be available to all users.  If you’re not sure about your account status, please contact your IT department.

Want to give it a try? Go to the store and lookup for ‘Lync’.













Lync Server 2013 Preview Download Available Now

It indeed has been a wonderful day for me with Microsoft. And that’s true for all IT Pro’s as well who are eager to test drive the next version of their skilled technology. With Office 2013 going as a ppublic beta, Microsoft has made Exchange Server 2013, Lync Server 2013 and SharePoint 2013 Preview versions as well for us to play before everything gets RTM’ed.

And for all Lync enthusiasts, they can get the download of the latest public preview right from the following image (click to download) which requires you to sign-in using a Live-ID.

Additionally, the following material are available online for references as well;


Want more?

Check out the official Lync 2013 Preview page over at

Happy Testing everyone 🙂