November 2015 update for Skype for Business and Lync 2013

Microsoft released an update for Skype for Business and Lync 2013.

The update resolves vulnerabilities in Microsoft Lync 2013 and Skype for Business as described in Microsoft Security Bulletin MS15-116 and Microsoft Security Bulletin MS15-123.

This security update also fixes the following issues:

Note that this update will upgrade your Lync 2013 client to Skype for Business.

*** The download link was removed by MS – I will update as soon as it’s available.

*** Update is available again.

Download (32-bit)

Download (64-bit)

Source: Microsoft
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Skype for Business Users’ pictures from URLs

This was out first on the November 2013 update for Lync Server 2013 where Microsoft brought back the (not so) loved Lync 2010 feature feature of allowing users to set their Lync pictures to internet accessible photos.
Soon, all users in the organization were superheroes and Sports Illustrated models.

Users that were not enabled for this feature will only see the following when trying to change their photo:

No photo option

A short command will add this feature to any policy that you had at the time and you could later control this with the Set-CsClientPolicy -DisplayPhoto, specifying “NoPhoto”,
“PhotosFromADOnly”, or “AllPhotos”

Now, what happens if you have a new client policy that requires this feature? (Or you never enabled it before?)

First, find out which policies are enabled with this feature by running the following:

Get-CsClientPolicy | ft Identity,PolicyEntry

The result should be similar to this:

Before

unless this was never enabled in your environment, then all of the above should be empty with only “{}”.

Now choose the policy you want to assign this feature to and run the following command:

$NPE=New-CsClientPolicyEntry -Name EnablePresencePhotoOptions -Value True

$Policy=Get-CsClientPolicy -Identity <PolicyName>

$Policy.PolicyEntry.Add($NPE)

Set-CsClientPolicy -Instance $Policy

Make sure you replaced “<PolicyName>” with your actual policy and then run the
Get-CsClientPolicy | ft Identity,PolicyEntry” command again.
The output will now show you have that set for the policy you chose:

After

And the Client can now change their profile photo:

New Photo

Remember there’s still a restriction on picture sizes (30 KB Max) and they must be publically available.

Client

Lync 2013 app for Windows Phone preparing for Skype for Business

An update for the Lync 2013 app for Windows Phone was just released, taking the app to version 5.9.1371.0.

I noticed no major changes (could be quicker but I believe this is only wishful thinking…), however the app description states clearly that Lync will soon become Skype for Business:

wp_ss_20150623_0001

 

When the app is started there’s a one-time screen confirming a change is coming:

 

wp_ss_20150623_0002

Download the update from Windows Store.

 

 

Skype for Business client – force address book download

If you’re using the next version of Office (That’s Office 2016, Preview available for download here), you’re already using the new Skype for Business client.

Results

If you used Lync before and now you find that your address book is not up to date and you get the “Address book synchronizing. Results may not be current” message, you might want to force your client to download the address book.

This is a fairly simple task, and it’s quite similar to the workaround from the Lync 2010 and 2013 clients; all you need to do is add a registry key and you’re done.
If you already added this registry in the past, you’ll notice it stopped working, and here’s the reason:
The registry key we’re using for this is:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Lync\GalDownloadInitialDelay with a value of ‘0’.

But if you go to %userprofile%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Office you’ll see that you now have a 15.0 folder and a 16.0 folder:

16FolderThis needs to be presented in the registry too.
So add the following key to your registry using an elevated command prompt window:

reg add HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Lync /v GalDownloadInitialDelay /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f

Exit the client, delete the two GalContacts files from your SIP_Username folder under the 16.0\Lync folder and restart the client.

GALfiles

You’re address book will be immediately downloaded to your client.

“Join Skype Meeting” or “Join Lync Meeting” not working with Google Chrome

An update to Goggle Chrome has disabled support for the Netscape Plugin API (NPAPI), which is being used by Lync and Skype for Business to launch the meeting on behalf of the client.

This will only happen if you’re using Chrome as your default browser.

The workaround:

  • Use a different browser as your default browser.

OR

  • type the following in Google Chrome’s address bar: Chrome://Flags/#enable-npapi
  • Click “Enable”

enablenpapi

  • Restart Chrome
  • Reinitiate the meeting join process
  • Enable the plugin

  • Refresh the Browser

MeetingOK

You’re good to go!

Source: KB3057679

 

Product review – Jabra Evolve 80

The new Jabra Evolve series brings some fancy new headsets to the working place.
There are quite some few models in that series, starting with the Evolve 20 (US$40) and ending with the Stereo Evolve 80 (US$329).

One thing about the Evolve 80: It’s good looking. It covers half you face, but it’s really good looking.
It covers your ears (Well, my ears at least…) completely and after a long day of use it is still comfortable enough to wear.
A red circle on the ear pieces will light up whenever you’re in a call and will alert your colleagues that you’re not only listening to music, you’re actually working… (A twist on that soon).

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The Evolve 80 MS is Lync certified and will show up as an audio device in your Lync \ Skype for Business client:

Audio Device

It connects via USB and has a control unit where you can answer and end the call, mute your microphone and control the volume. All very nice and shiny design:

Control Unit

The added bonus in the control unit (Remember the twist?) is that you can turn on the ear piece’s lights by pressing the Jabra button in the middle. This will make you look busy, when in fact you’re listening to the latest UC Architects podcast.

Gotta hit the road? commute on your way to work or spend some time in the air? Act as the flight’s captain by plugging the 3.5 jack into your phone or tablet. Voice and audio quality is just as good.

3.5Another cool feature is the Active Noise Cancellation. It will activate a battery-powered noise cancellation feature which will help reduce some environmental noise around you. It’s not extremely good, but will help reduce the chatter in the background if you’re trying to concentrate.

ANC

So, Jabra Evolve 80;

Likes:

  • Looks.
  • Sound and Audio Quality.
  • Comfortable.
  • Looks (they look that good it deserves two points).

Dislikes:

  • Microphone – big and annoying. Other Evolve products have a magnet in their Mics so they can attach themselves to the arch. Could be handy here.
  • Ear cushions – Comfortable, but can get messy if you sweat.
  • ANC requires a micro USB connected to recharge the internal battery.

All in all, a great product.

First glimpse at the Skype for Business client

So, word is out – the new client is here. How does it look like and what are the big changes? Let’s have a look: (Click on the images to enlarge)

The client is branded with the Skype for Business logo and name, and has a similar feel to the consumer version:

S4B Client

Similar to the Lync 2013 client, if you hover over a contact’s picture, you can see the quick options menu:

Hover Preview

The number pad tab is colourful. The UM piece is missing the playback speed feature that was introduced in Lync 2013.

Numpad

The IM window will always show the participants. You can expand this to see a full list of all participants:

Video preview is similar to the one we’re familiar with in Lync 2013:

Video Preview

And so is the call option menu:

Call select

Content sharing button is similar to the Lync 2013 client with a nice preview of the desktop (Not shown here):

Presentable

PowerPoint sharing within a Lync 2013 Server environment uses Office Web Apps, just like the Lync 2013 client:

PPTSharing

The greatest improvement maybe is to the call window;

Skype-like feeling:

Calling

PSTN Navigation options: Transfer within a click of a button, instead of a quick programming tutorial:

InCallWindow

And no more “Where’s my conversation window? How do I hang up or mute?!” as we have the Skype-like hover window:

Hover window

Oh, and one last small thing: Every active window has the option to change views during a call:

View

Lync Web App broken on the December 2014 update for Lync Server 2013

If you installed the December 2014 update for Lync server 2013, the Web Components update just might break Lync Web App if you’re using Google Chrome as your default browser.
Chrome will display a message saying “Google Chrome no longer supports Lync Web App” and the workaround, surprisingly, would be to copy the meeting URL to a different browser.

More information about this issue can be found here.

Lync Users and Devices script – improvements

Excel

The new Lync Users and Devices script contains all the features of the old one, plus the following:

  • Added an option for non-EN users to reduce Excel errors (thanks BSterkenburg).
  • Also listing Dial-in Conferencing numbers:
Display Name Pool Line URI Primary Language
  • And Exchange UM contacts:
Display Name SIP Address Line URI Auto Attendant? Hosted Voicemail Policy

Run the script from your desktop (NOT your Lync server), where you have Excel installed. The script will ask you for Lync Admin credentials and one of your servers \ pools and will automatically connect to them.

All Tabs

Download the script here.

Lync for Windows Phone update—more settings for voice calls – Office Blogs

As published in the Lync blog today, Lync for Windows Phone has more settings for voice calls:

VoIP always—The device will use a Wi-Fi connection, if available, to place the call. If Wi-Fi isn’t available, the device will defer to the 3G/4G data plan and the Lync voice calls will be initiated over that connection.

VoIP over Wi-Fi only— The device will use a Wi-Fi connection, if available, to place the call. If Wi-Fi can’t be found, this setting instructs the Lync mobile service to connect you using Call via Workplacing a call to your phone first, then to the destination number.

Cellular—The Lync mobile service will directly place a call to your phone number using Call via Work and then complete the call to the destination.

Read the full article in the official Lync blog:

http://blogs.office.com/2014/12/10/lync-windows-phone-update-settings-voice-calls/