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Mar 16 2015

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.

0 comments - Posted by Brian Ricks at 12:25 PM - Categories: 2013 | Lync | Skype

Feb 5 2015

Moving to a new Blog Engine

BriComp's website and blog engine are moving off Adobe's platform and going native .NET - great for us but that impacts blog updates. I am currently migrating the current blog data to the new blog and while this is occurring, I am not keen on creating blog posts. :) Safe to say that soon the new website and blog will be up and new and exciting blogs will be coming regarding Exchange, Lync, Skype and everything else. Check back soon for updates.

0 comments - Posted by Brian Ricks at 4:02 PM - Categories:

Dec 17 2014

Another Microsoft "hidden" feature - CU December 2014 Released

In the latest Cumulative Update for Lync Sever 2013 released in December, a special “feature” was added by Microsoft secretively. The nature of the secrecy is unknown but I would bet it was not to be deceitful but more of poor planning on the release of information.

In the December 2014 CU, four items were updated – Core, the UCMAPI, Web Components, and the Front End/Edge Server. All of the updates are classified as routine maintenance/stability updates with no new features listed. However, the Web Components added a “feature” that is causing issues with using Lync Web App (LWA) and Google Chrome. In short, LWA is no longer compatible with Google Chrome because of future known issues with Chrome. This is one of those proactive steps that Microsoft took – before Chrome broke. So now, after the update is applied, the popup from Chrome simply states Google Chrome no longer supports LWA.

It is expected to be a short-term issue that will be resolved but just like changes to Chrome that broke Outlook Web App (OWA), it is more than apparent that working with a product outside of your control can be a bit trying at times. More information and pictures of the issue may be found on a blog post released today (the original December CU was released December 11) found at KB3025563.

There is a database upgrade required for the backend databases, none for the CMS (assuming you are up-to-date (i.e. since February 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.

Product

Version

KBs

Download

Lync Server 2013

5.0.8308.857

2809243

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 5.0.8308.857
Lync 2013 Client build number is 15.0.4667.1001

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 5.6.1308.0
Lync 2013 for iPad build number 5.6
Lync 2013 for iPhone build number 5.6
Lync 2013 for Android build number 5.5.3.8919
Lync 2013 for Android tablet build number 5.5.3.8919

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

0 comments - Posted by Brian Ricks at 7:18 AM - Categories: 2013 | Chrome | Cumulative Update | Lync | Lync Server

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