The Skype for Business Client UI Controller Script

As you are probably aware, Microsoft rolled-out the new Skype for Business client as an Office 2013 in the form of 2 update for the Lync 2013 client (KB2889853 and KB2889923). Just apply the latest Office Professional Plus 2013 updates, and you will get the Skype for Business client update.

Most of you are aware that the UI can either run as the Lync 2013 look-and-feel, or the new Skype for Business look-and-fell (if you are not familiar with it, do a quick search, or visit one of the many good write-up’s like fellow Lync MVP Tom Arbuthnot’s write-up here: Important Changes coming to the Lync 2013 Client UI/UX in the April 2015 Client Patch). In a nutshell, the type of UI ‘skin’ that is used depends on a combination of backend server version, optional server-side client policy, and a registry key.

I ended up writing a quick script to flip the registry value so I could switch back-and-forth for various reasons (testing, helping users). I used this script enough myself that I thought the community would benefit from it.

The purpose of the SFB client registry key is primarily for the first run of the SFB client – i.e. controlling whether the Lync or SFB UI is displayed – until the client policy governs the behavior after the first run.  However, if no policy is set and Lync Server 2010/2013 is being used on-premises, you can use this script to keep reverting back to the Skype for Business Client if it is desired – until a policy is set.

I put the script in an HTML file and use embedded Javascript running under the Windows Host Script to flip the registry value so anyone can quickly make this change if they desire.  You can access the script here:

http://www.insidelync.com/Tools/SkypeUIController.html

Specifically the script will do the following.

  1. It checks to see if the Skype for Business UI registry value exists (e.g. “HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\Lync\EnableSkypeUI”).
  2. If it does NOT exist, it creates it with a default value of “1” – which is the binary value for enabling the Skype for Business client UI experience.
  3. If the registry value DOES exist, it changes the value to be the alternate UI.  For example:
    • If the value is set to use the Lync UI (i.e. “00 00 00 00”), it will change the value to Enable the Skype for Business UI by setting the registry value to “01 00 00 00”.
    • If the value is set to use the Skype for Business UI (i.e “01 00 00 00”), it will change the value to Enable the Lync UI by setting the registry value to “00 00 00 00”.

You need access to your registry for this script to work.

Caveat: I hesitated releasing this little script because it does modify the registry on a Windows host/client. I will include the standard ‘registry modification’ disclaimer with this:

Warning: this script modifies the Windows registry (if the current logged on user has permission to do so). If you are not familiar with editing the registry, or are not sure, do not attempt to run it.

I take no responsible for any issues this may cause. Having said all of that, it is tested and I cannot see any harm that it could cause!

Enough warnings, hope it helps.

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