Top 10 Facts when Planning a Lync 2010 Client Deployment

If you are in the early stages of planning the deployment of the Lync 2010 client in your organization, the following top 10 points provide some basic starting points and references to common questions and issues.

  1. The Lync 2010 Installation is an Executable; not an MSI.
    • Previous versions of the UC client (aka Communicator) were *.msi files. The Lync 2010 client is shipped as an executable.
    • There were some advantages to going the executable route including the ability to better handle the removal of any previous client (e.g. Communicator), better handling or pre-requisites, and the ability to repair the client at a later date if it needs to.
    • There is an MSI installation available but it can only be used if the target PC is completely prepared to install the Lync client (i.e. any previous clients have been uninstalled and the pre-requisites have been installed), and a required registry modification has been made. See http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2477965 for more information.
  2. There are Two Lync 2010 Clients Available for Download: 32-bit and 64-bit
    • The Lync client itself is actually only 32-bit – the 64-bit download is a 64-bit installer wrapping the 32-bit client.
    • The 32-bit installer will not allow installation on 64-bit Windows and vice-versa.
    • The 64-bit installer installs the Lync client in the “Program Files\x86” directory.
  3. The Lync Client Download Includes the Outlook Add-In (now called the “Online Meeting Add-In for Lync 2010”)
    • The Lync client .exe installs the Outlook Add-In which allows you to schedule Lync meetings.
    • The 64-bit download of the Lync 2010 client installs the 64-bit version of the add-in so that it is compatible with the 64-bit version of Office and Outlook.
  4. The 64-bit Lync 2010 Installation Works with the 32-bit Version of Microsoft Office.
    • If you have a 64-bit machine with a 32-bit Office 2010, you can use the 64-bit Lync Installer.
    • The 64-bit Lync client installation will install the 32-bit version of the Online Meeting Add-In for Lync 2010 for Outlook.
  5. Lync 2010 Client Integration is Supported with Office 2007 and Office 2003.
  6. The Lync 2010 Client Does Integrate with Exchange 2003 and Exchange 2007
    • See the Exchange Server and Lync 2010 section of the Lync 2010 Compatibility guide in TechNet for more information on feature support. The Lync integration features made possible with Exchange Web Services (EWS) is not available if Exchange 2003 is being used.
  7. The Lync Client Install Removes any Previous version of Communicator and Installs the new Online Meeting Add-In for Lync 2010.
    • Previous clients are silently uninstalled before the Lync 2010 client is installed.
    • User Contact Lists are preserved because they are stored on the Lync server.
    • Most registry customizations from Communicator 2007 R2 carry-over.
  8. The Lync Client can be Installed Silently (** but be aware any open Outlook sessions will be forced closed and restarted **)
    • To install the client with no user interaction, you can use the /Silent and /Install parameters to the Lync installation executable.
    • All of the Lync 2010 Setup Command-Line Arguments can be found here:  http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg425733.aspx
    • You can deploy the Lync client along with the latest Lync client Windows Installer patch (.msp file) and using the following command:
      • “msieexec.exe /patch lync.msp /quiet” <assuming the Lync.msp contains the patches install of the Lync client>
    • The Lync client will run immediately after it is installed.
    • Outlook Note: most of the time the Outlook client will have be closed to do the Lync install.  I have seen two different scenarios for silent installs depending on what was client was previous installed on the machine and the O/S version:
      1. The Lync client successfully installs without closing Outlook but the Lync Online Meeting Add-In is not installed.
      2. The Lync client forces a shutdown of Outlook and restarts it after Lync is installed.
  9. The Lync Client Can be Configured with Lync Client Policies, the Lync Client GPO, or a Customer GPO
  10. Supported MAC Client Versions
    • Both the Microsoft Lync for Mac 2011 and the Microsoft Communicator for Mac 2011 are supported.
    • See the ‘Macintosh and Lync 2010’ section in the Lync 2010 Compatibility guide for more information.
  11. Be Aware of the Client Address Book Download Time Lag (bonus tip :-) ).
    • After the Lync client is installed, the client will need to download the address book. The client is hardcoded to wait anywhere between 1 – 60 minutes to do the download to avoid a download storm (i.e. if many clients were installed at the same time).
    • This often leads to the user not having address book functionality. Users will see the message “The address book is preparing the synchronize” in the address search field until the address book is downloaded.

Deploying via SCCM and GPO

Several people have experienced an issue when deploying the Lync client via SCCM whereby the Lync client is started in the SYSTEM context after installation; instead of the USER context, which does not allow the user to run Lync (e.g. http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/ocsinterop/thread/6b638a43-e3a5-4e08-bdfd-16f84b51e2b1/).

The Lync client can be deployed via  Group Policy Object (GPO). There are two important requirements:

  1. You must extract the Windows Installer (.msi) file from the Lync installation executable, and,
  2. You must use the Group Policy setting UseMSIForLyncInstallation to allow the .msi to run on client computers

This is detailed more here: IT-Managed Installation of Lync 2010 and in this good Lync server forum posting.

Other good deployment references:

If you are deploying Office 2010 at the same time, you should read this TechNet Article on the Who, What, Where, Why, and When for 64-bit Office 2010 Applications:

> 64-bit editions of Office 2010 (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee681792.aspx)

In a nutshell, Microsoft generally recommends the 32-bit version of Office 2010 (even on 64-bit machines), largely because of the backward compatibility of any 3rd-party 32-bit Office add-in’s you might currently be running. The above article contains good information about the specific scenarios where you should install the 32-bit version of Office instead of the 64-bit. Many Lync 2010 deployments have been running fine with the 64-bit version of Office 2010 for some time now.

Lync 2010 Setup Command-Line Arguments
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18 comments to Top 10 Facts when Planning a Lync 2010 Client Deployment

  • Jon

    Hello – great information.

    We have deployed Lync 2010 using SCCM 2007. User’s are now receiving a pop-up when starting the client that a new version is available. The pop-up will go away & Lync will still work. Anybody find a way to suppress this message? We have a controlled environment and end users are non-admins.

    “Install Lync Update? – The latest version of Microsoft Lync 2010 is available for download. Click here to get instructions for downloading it.”

    The link will direct you to an Office365 website where you can download the updated 32 or 64 bit version of the client.

    Installed out of date version = 4.0.7577.0
    New version available = 4.0.7577.4356

    I am curious if this can be controlled with SCCM or if we need to configure a GPO or WSUS policy.

    Thanks,
    Jon

  • Thomas

    Hi,

    Thanks for the article.
    When I press the “Online Meeting button” the calendar body is filled with som text and links. Is there – to your knowledge – anywhere I can edit this template, as it is way too complex for my company.

    Assuming som html-like file is hidden some where :)

    Best regards

  • Scott Jackson

    Great article, I don’t suppose you know why a lync client install might run Lync setup everytime that Lync is started from the Start menu, where as the Lync that we have running after login goes seemlessly through ?

  • Will Smith

    I meant an online meeting.

  • Will Smith

    Can you have a meeting request automatically start the local client(assuming its not running) instead of using the web cleint?

  • Tirzah

    The Lync client 2010 forces a shutdown of Outlook and restarts it after Lync is installed when doing a silent install…..

    I wanted to have a silent install but the outlook should not close and restart. Any ideas on how to do this?

  • ER

    And now… Please tell me where I can find the Lync client files after the server is installed.

  • wancho

    Thanks Curtis! Very Informative!

  • James

    You said:
    Yes – like previous versions of Communicator, the Lync installation will attempt run after installation. There is a registry key to not do that if you want.

    Can you provide this or point me to a source. I’ve found keys to disable the first run tutorial, but not to disable the run after install. Since we install with local system account Lync launches in session 0. In the past we’ve done a taskkill, but would prefer a switch or registry key.

    • Hi James,

      It was was either the FirstRunLaunchMode or AutoOpenMainWindowWhenStartup. Was it the FirstRunLaunchMode that you found to disable the tutorial? I believe the AutoOpenMainWindowWhenStartup might only supress it from starting in the foreground.

      The keys are documented in the excel spreadsheet available in the Microsoft Lync 2010 Client Group Policy Documentation (http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=27217).

      The FirstRunLaunchMode is described as “Defines the behavior of the Microsoft Lync First Run user experience. This setting determines whether First Run is enabled, and whether it runs automatically.”

      Curtis

  • Thomas

    Hi!
    Why isn´t the UseMSIForLyncInstallation ADM Template included in GPMC?
    Do I have to create that template myself or have someone helping me with that?

    // TE

  • NickC

    You’ve missed one out: the Lync client WILL run after you install it automatically, so if you do a silent installation (e.g. via SCCM) you must either kill the communicator.exe process afterwards because it may likely be running in the SYSTEM context, or reboot the PC after install.
    Also you’ve not said what happens when the client is installed and Outlook is already running (say when a user is still using the computer)…does it work at all? does it kill Outlook and start it again?

    • Hi Nick, thanks for the good feedback.

      I wanted to focus this post on quick facts to help people get started with planning rather than deployment specifics, but it is difficult to separate the two.

      I have not deployed via SCCM but I see some forums posts with the problem you describe. I’ve added some information about deploying via Group Policy since that is an alternative to SCCM. Yes – like previous versions of Communicator, the Lync installation will attempt run after installation. There is a registry key to not do that if you want.

      The Outlook restart is a good point – I added a note about it. Usually the Outlook client is forced to close during the install and the Lync installation restarts it. I have seen cases where Outlook is not closed but the Online Meeting Add-In for Lync 2010 does not get installed.

      Curtis

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