February 2015 Lync Client/Server Update

Microsoft quietly released the Lync Client and Server CU for February 2015 and perhaps with good reason; little to nothing appears to have been added to Lync other than a not quite functioning correctly  CsClientPolicy setting EnableSkypeUI. The policy is designed to allow a Lync 2013 server admin to preserve the look and feel of the Lync client after the 'Skype' CU has been delivered either automatically via O365, via Windows Update, or via the system administrator. By default this value is $NULL which SHOULD equate to ‘Use the Lync UI’ but instead it defaults to ‘Use the Skype UI’. Setting the value to $FALSE will force the Lync UI and in future client releases (read that as RTM) the feature will work as expected.

Missing/odd features is definitely not a reason to apply a patch and since it has been 30 days since the release with no known/major issues I would say all is good. The patch does update Core, Server, RGS, Management, and Web Components as well as databases.

There are a few database upgrades required for the backend databases (QoE), and for the CMS (assuming you are up-to-date (i.e. since December 2014)). It is interesting that Microsoft is calling out the sequence with more vigor and I cannot stress enough how important it is to make sure your databases match your CU level or ‘bad things happen.’  We discuss over and over how to check upgrade readiness as well the database upgrade methods so if you are unclear, review previous posts here.





Lync Server 2013



MS Download





Lync 2013 Client 32-bit



MS Download

Lync 2013 Client 64-bit



MS Download


Additional Notes:
Lync Server 2010 build number is 4.0.7577.709

Lync 2010 Client build number is 4.0.7577.4446

Lync Server 2013 build number is 5.0.8308.872

Lync 2013 Client build number is 15.0.4693.1001

Lync Group Chat build number is 4.0.7577. 4409

Lync Group Chat Server build number 4.0.7577.4409

Lync Group Chat Admin build number 4.0.7577.4409

Lync Attendee build number is 4.0.7577.4382

Lync Attendant build number is 4.0.7577.4098

Lync Phone Editions build number is 4.0.7577.4455
Lync Phone Edition (Tanjay) build number is 4.0.7577.4451
Lync for Mac 2011 build number is 14.0.10

Lync 2010 for Windows Phone build number 4.3.8120.0

Lync 2010 for iPhone build number 4.7

Lync 2010 for iPad build number 4.7
Lync 2010 for Android build number 4.0.6509.3001

Lync 2013 for Windows Phone build number 5.8.1327.0

Lync 2013 for iPad build number 5.6

Lync 2013 for iPhone build number 5.6

Lync 2013 for Android build number
Lync 2013 for Android tablet build number

Lync Basic 2013 build number is 15.0.4420.1017
Lync VDI 2013 build number is 15.0.4420.1017

Office 2016 / Skype for Business 2015 Client Preview

Much has been posted recently regarding the preview of Skype for Business client and what it has to bring to the table. The basic office team announcement was made on their blog (found here) this morning but others attending the various release functions commented as well. Those comments are the ones I have issue with and want to make a few basic comments of my own here.

First and foremost the new Skype for Business client is NOT a new client but rather an update to the existing Lync client. That's right - a CU/KB is applied and voila - you have the new Skype4B client. That brings a lot of ramifications with it, not the least that this client does communicate and work with Lync Server 2013 just fine. In its basic client upgrade and work as you are state, the features are the same, but you get a new look.

Skype4B client does NOT add the additional functionality of initiating calls, communication, etc. directly from Office apps (such as Outlook) as Lync already did that - and has done that - forever. This is nothing new and the contact cards are still shared. This also means it is not pulling on Lync features, they are Lync features as again, this is Lync under the covers.

Another important feature - and one that has been available in Lync for some time - is the ability to communicate with the public Skype counterpart. The idea of public federation was introduced in 2006 with Live Communication Server 2005 SP1 (that's LCS, the predecessor to OCS which was the predecessor to Lync). Public federation is a feature that has been in Lync's history and today (and yes even yesterday) you had the option to configure this federation link using the Microsoft provisioning website of https://pic.lync.com. Will the process and the features improve with time - yes, but not a new feature as of today.

Skype for Business Client and Office 2016 are coming and are exciting improvements. But it is important to understand what the changes are, how they impact current infrastructure, and what  (if any) impact that means on your end users. The last big piece of that equation is rolled into the original comment above - that this release is simply a cumulative update. What if you don't want the update? Well for those on-premise that are delivering Office Pro Plus 2013 using the "fat" method, easy - don't install it. For those using the Click-2-Run Office 365 distribution method - not such an easy decision. The good news is regardless, administrative control will be available to decide how Lync/Skype looks on the desktop using Lync/Skype client policies. This means the updates can occur and the switch to the new interface (and potentially new features) can be at the control of IT.