#Skype4C: A Quick Look at #Skype Web Audio/Video Plugin

Skype has recently noted that Skype for Web will soon be available and to “look out for access to Skype for Web on in the coming weeks”.

At this time the Skype for Web is not available at but in the mean time you can take a look at the existing Skype for plugin available in immediately. (NOTE: The existing Skype web plugin on may have nothing to do with the plugin used in the Skype for Web app.)

To see the Skype plug being used on Onedrive, Login to and click on People, and find a Skype user that is online.


Find someone online and media capable and click on video or audio call button and the Skype plugin download process will being.


Or search for a Skype enabled user in People Search and click Call (Skype)


Skype Plugin download prompt at which we will click “Run” (Note that the plugin is 6.28MB in size.)


Run plugin prompt




Skype download plugin setup complete.


The Skype plugin UI while making an audio call. Looks very similar to Skype UI.


There is also an Instant Message panel by pressing the IM button.


The conversation panel disappears after the call ends in the OneDrive | People web app, but we still don’t know how this will work in the Skype for Web app.

That’s all for now. We’ll keep looking for Skype for Web on

Skype for Plugin

Skype for Outlook FAQ

Skype for Business Client: Detailed Look At What’s New

Detailed look at the changes and new features in Skype for Business client based on released screenshots and statements. (Obviously the product has not been released so everything is subject to change.)

Skype for Business Detailed Look at What is New

(Below is the PowerPoint. Note some pages of the PowerPoint have audio)

Here it is:

Lync Gets a New Name: Skype for Business


Above, new white on blue logo (from rebranding video below) Below, more typical blue on white logo.


Note: detailed look at Skype for Business client click here

According to Gurdeep Sing Pall on, Lync will get a new name in the first half of 2015 and it is…Skype for Business. To quote Gurdeep:

“In the first half of 2015, the next version of Lync will become Skype for Business with a new client experience, new server release, and updates to the service in Office 365. We believe that Skype for Business will again transform the way people communicate by giving organizations reach to hundreds of millions of Skype users outside the walls of their business.”

Checkout the Microsoft marketing new name introduction video below:


Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Is Lync Server (on-premises) name changing as well?
A. Yes, Lync Server (on premises) is getting the name change to Skype for Business as well as Office 365 version. This is a name change only, and all the server components behind Skype for Business are Lync. So Lync enterprise grade UC product with a new name that is Skype for Business. Think of Skype for Business as the name of the next version of Lync.

Q. When will the name change occur?
A. First half of 2015. This will also coincide with the next release of Lync. So the next release of Lync will be Skype for Business.

Q. Will Skype for Business (previously known as Lync Server) Have New Server Requirements?
A. Skype for Business server will have the same requirements as Lync Server, according to “Microsoft officials”. click here

Q. How do I refer to a Lync/Skype for Business to Skype  Audio/Video Call Now?
A. How about:  “Skype for Business to Skype call”? (yes, I know…)

Q. Are Lync and Skype becoming one product?
A. No. Lync, soon to be known as “Skype for Business” and Skype to entirely distinct products. Skype for Business is an enterprise class UC solution and Skype is a consumer product for individuals. If you want use Skype for Business you will need the Skype for Business (formerly known as Lync) PC client or mobile clients. If you want to use Skype (consumer) you will need to install the Skype (consumer) PC or mobile clients.

Q. How do I identify Skype for Business clients versus Skype (for consumer) on Marketplaces?
A. It appears that Skype for Business will have outline scheme as opposed to Skype (for consumer) solid. See Google Play (click here) or iPhone (click here)  .We will see more going forward. (see illustration below)


The Lync, er, Skype for Business Client Get’s a new Look

According to photos appearing on the same blog article we can see that the Lync client appears to be getting a new look as well. (as shown above.) It appears to follow the Skype theme to some degree while maintaining cohesion with existing Lync client layout. There is the Skype color in the top half of the client and Skype avatar placeholder, new Contact/History/Phone/Meeting icons and other similar layout to existing Lync client. (Note: See my detailed review of Skype for Business client click here)


Skype for Business will get a new floating “call monitor” window.


New Skype for Business Conversation window.


My Video Comparison of Lync vs Skype for Business Client Use Interface


What Are Some New Features Coming in the Next Version of Lync? (to be known as Skype for Business)

Here is the list that Microsoft or media has mentioned (See a detailed review of Skype for Business client click here)

  • A new Skype-like look and theme (Gurdeep)
  • transferring a call is now less clicks (Gurdeep)
  • Call Monitor floating window (photo, Gurdeep)
  • Skype for Business (aka Lync) to Skype (consumer) Video calling and Skype User Directory (Gurdeep)
  • Search for Skype ID’s and Add from Skype for Business server/on premises
  • Lookup & Connect with Skype users based on Skype ID and NO dependency on Microsoft Account (MaryJo/Gurdeep)
  • Native interop between Skype for Business on-premises & other video conferencing systems (MaryJo click here)


Short Social Media & Twitter Hashtag?

Will it be #SkypeforBusiness? #Skype4B? #S4B? #SFB? It looks like Skype is leading with #SkypeforBusines (see below), which is longer than the very twitter economical #Lync, but unlikely to be unambiguous like shorter abbreviations. (it appears that community feedback is favoring #skype4b as a compromise between recognition and economy click here)



Personal Thoughts on Lync and Skype for Business

As a Lync MVP who talks and writes about Lync daily there is no secret that there is a community that has developed an attachment to the Lync brand. In a tweet earlier today, Gurdeep Pall expressed this pretty well  with: “Welcome to Skype for Business. Long Live Lync in our heart!”


Having said that it is impossible to ignore the huge brand awareness around the Skype name—it is pretty much a verb for internet audio and video calling. In fact, when family, friends and church folks ask me what I do, I had already (before knowledge of rebranding) been using the clarification “Lync is like Skype for business.” So I would say it is a very natural name, apart from anything Microsoft may be trying to accomplish.

Of course there is work ahead for everyone that has an investment in the Lync brand. There will likely be some confusion to be cleared up around Skype for Business and Skype (for Consumer) that MVP’s will address. The eco system will need to rebrand. But remember one clear thing: Skype for Business is exactly the same enterprise class UC solution that was Lync. And it is only going to get better.

Gurdeep Sing Pall’s Article:

Mary Joe Foley:

Microsoft Marketing Rebranding Video:

Microsoft Lync eBook Becomes Top Microsoft TechNet Gallery Resource

Microsoft Lync Server 2013 Step by Step for Anyone” by Microsoft MVP Matt Landis has just become the top downloaded resource on the Microsoft TechNet Gallery at over 165,000 downloads. Microsoft Lync is a Unified Communication product which provides the unified functionality of Skype calling, video meetings, web meetings and telephone system all integrated into one simple, enterprise grade solution. The book is a step by step guide for any generalist IT expert to setup their first Lync Server lab.

In an interview at Landis Computer Technology Solutions headquarters in Ephrata, Pennsylvania Matt Landis noted that rapid rise of this Microsoft Lync Server book on TechNet is an indicator of the huge uptake of Microsoft Lync as the Unified Communication and telephony solution of choice among enterprises nationally and internationally. “The Lync book’s huge demand merely mirrors the real-world demand for Microsoft Lync that we see in our consulting work.” (“Microsoft Lync Server Basic Administration” by Fabrizio Volpe is also very popular click here) Matt notes that “Organizations are replacing older telephone centric solutions in favor of of unified communication solutions and Microsoft Lync is a top solution in this group.” Many experts believe that UC is the next communication paradigm that is replacing both email and phone systems as a primary communication solution and some might see it as significant that Lync has passed Exchange (email server) as the top download resource on Technet Gallery.

Lync has been a leader in UC solutions and earlier this year Microsoft Lync has become the leader of the leaders in the Gartner Unified Magic Quadrant report for 2014. Landis Computer Technology Solutions has specialized in helping organizations replace their PBX’s with Lync along with it’s integrated Enterprise Voice features. Matt pointed out that in the past weeks Microsoft Lync entered the leader quadrant for Corporate Telephony in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Corporate Telephony.

Matt Landis is the CEO of Landis Computer Technology Solutions. Their team provides design and implementation consulting services for Microsoft Lync on the East Coast, nationally and around the world. Matt noted “We work with local businesses to international organizations. We currently have ongoing project implementing Microsoft Lync with Enterprise Voice with locations in the USA, Central America, Europe and Asia. The company also produces Attendant Pro for Lync attendant console software that used is used in enterprises around the world.

Download the Microsoft Lync Server 2013 Step by Step for Anyone eBook for yourself: Click Here
Get a Lync Design/Implementation Proposal from Landis Computer Technology Solutions: Click Here
Pro for Lync: Click Here

snom UC Edition 8.8.3: BTOE, Contact Photos, Conferencing, BusyonBusy & More Goes Live

snom is readying their snom UC Edition 8.8.3.x firmware release that brings some interesting new features to their phones which includes:

  • Lync Server based conference
  • Callback on Busy (CoB)
  • On busy forward to target number
  • Automatic Busy Redialing
  • Conference Roster
  • Boss/Admin Stay in Conference
  • Ad-hoc Conference from Contact Group
  • Contact Search with AD images (color phones)
  • Call Pickup on Ringing (BLF – snom to snom)

In this article we will go over the experience to install and pair BTOE,

Installing BTOE

There is a 32 and 64bit MSI provided.


Click Accept agreement | Accept Install Folder | Install

After installation the snom BtoeManager will run. For me the driver install failed because it needed to run as Administrator. This was resolve by running BtoeManager as Administrator as shown below:




on phone


on phone


Now pair


Now phone and PC will connect and the Lync device driver will be loaded.


Now Lync 2013 will request credentials for snom phone (which will allow the phone to show Exchange Calendar and upcoming Lync Meetings.)


After you provide the credentials the pairing will complete.


Done! That was efficient and simple!

Lync Pictures in Directory Search

The new snom UC firmware show picture in Directory Search screen. (not in Lync contacts screen). Press the Directory button on the phone and type in a search. Now in the results you will see the lync contact phone as shown below:


Press the “I” softkey to see the AD card


More modern looking presence


NOTE: Photos are shown during a search, but not in Lync contact cards.


Currently adhoc meetings can be launched only from a pre-made Lync group.

Very basic roster on phone…


You can scroll between the users using the right and left softkeys (in photo above you see the right softkey)

What the Lync client looks like during a meeting initiated from the phone.


At the moment it doesn’t seem like you can adhoc add a new contact from the phone.
What happens if someone starts showing video? the call is transferred/moved off the snom phone to a headset.

Lync Meeting Notification and Join From snom Phone

The snom phone will indicate upcoming meeting (lower left of main scren of phone) that can be joined by clicking. (photo to come later)

Busy on Busy

On snom phone: Menu | 2-Call Features | 3-Incoming Calls | 2-Call Waiting |

And you now have the following “Call Waiting” options:

  • On = incoming call will ring normally
  • Visual Only = will receive silent, visual indication of incoming call
  • Ringer = will receive notice of incoming call with double beep
  • Off = calls will be sent to voicemail



A nice set of new features and many will greatly appreciate the addition of BTOE.

#Lync User QuickTip #32: How to Keep Sounds at a Minimum When on a Call


Use the Brute Force Method: Turn Off All Ringtones

Options | Ringtones and Sounds. Now you need to set ringtone for the various ways you might receive a call to “None”. But remember with this method you will not get an audible ring on any incoming call.


Turn off the Lync 2nd Incoming Call Waiting Tone

Options | Ringtones and Sound and Check “Keep sounds to a minimum when my Status is Busy”. This will make it so that a 2nd (or more) incoming call waiting tone will not be played.


My Headset Is Still Playing a Call Waiting Tone (beep-beep-beep on a 2nd call)

Check with the headset settings, most of them can be configured. You may need to install the vendor specific tray application to change the settings.

Lync 2013 Basic Gets New Features: Gallery View and Recording

This weeks Lync client upgrade brought some more features to the free “Lync 2013 Basic”. We also saw a new Devices report added to Lync Online in Office365. Both of these upgrades seem to be tailored to Office 365 users.


Stale Hansen has a good blog demonstrating the new functionality here:

With the new functionality Stale notes, Lync 2013 Basic is getting closer and closer to Lync 2013.

Lync 2013 Basic Update:

Bill Gates Imagines Future Meeting Room Application With Office Fully Integrated Into Experience


Microsoft keeps working toward the ultimate meeting experience. From the enterprise side we have Microsoft Lync meetings in the desktop app, browser or mobile to the full Lync Room System. On the consumer side Skype now has Group Video and Group Screen sharing.

But according to a recent VanityFair interview, it sounds like Gates and Nadella are still envisioning a better meeting experience in the form of a new “meeting-room application” that does everything from sharing notes to videoconferencing inside one application:

“If the Gordian knots that lie ahead faze Gates at all, he doesn’t show it. He says his next meeting is with “one of the genius guys who’s really pushing this idea that when you write an application you don’t write an application for this thing and then another application for that thing and another application for this thing. When you fire up the meeting-room application, everybody’s machine has a part of this meeting-room application.” His idea is that once you’ve launched—call it Meeting Room Plus—you can do everything that needs to be done, from sharing notes to videoconferencing, without having to pause to open something else up. “On that one, I think we’ll take the lead,” says Gates. “That’s a very cool thing, and it does kind of trump what’s come before.”

“I think that’s a great way to think about it,” says Nadella. “Let’s say we walk into this room. There are cameras there that recognize each one of us, automatically log us into a shared whiteboard, rendezvous the machines you have, a phone or a tablet, so that you can share things.”

Does this mean that Microsoft Office will get integrated into a Microsoft Lync and/or Skype meeting experience? It does sound like this what is being envisioned. And considering Office Web App PowerPoint functionality is already surfaced inside Microsoft Lync meetings this certainly is the current trajectory and even more integration that includes things like OneNote and beyond is easily imaginable. This is also one area that Microsoft has the ability to differentiate unlike some other vendors in the meeting space.


And walk into the room and have it recognize and join you to the shared meeting and whiteboard? Sounds like Nadella is suggesting a kind of “No-Click Join” experience that could make a very natural meeting join experience and shave off those couple minutes fiddling around joining a meeting when you are standing right in front of the meeting you want to join.

Obviously this is all ideas on the future, not any concrete products, but still interesting to see the future envisioned.

Read the whole Vanity Fair interview here.

Vanity Fair (page 5 of 6)

snom m65 DECT Phone with Multi-Cell Roaming


Looks like snom has released a DECT portable phone with multi-cell roaming capability. At the moment it appears to have standard SIP firmware. Since snom is quite Lync focused, what about Lync? Well, like other SIP devices, integration with a gateway could be an option, but this is no more compelling than various other DECT vendors and Spectralink does have a Lync DECT solution. (I have no word from snom if there is Lync firmware/Lync qualification is in the making)

There appears to be 2 base stations coming:

  • M700 (single cell or mutli-cell roaming)
  • M300 (single cell base station, no roaming)

Also, in other news from snom it looks like they are unveiling a new logo, which looks like an improvement to me:




Using Hyper-V & Enhanced Session For Your Lync Lab

In the past the lack of support for audio devices made it awkward to use Hyper-V as a Lync lab but with the new “Enhanced Session” capabilities it seems that your next Lync lab may run nicely on a Windows 8.1 Enterprise PC with Hyper-V Client. (Of course we are talking a tiny lab. and if it’s a tiny lab, can you even fit it on a Surface Pro 3?)

Does Hyper-V Client Now Support Audio?

Yes, it does. Just make sure you are running  Windows 8.1 Enterprise or Server 2012 or newer inside the VM. And then turn on “Enhanced Session”: View |  Enhanced Session. The Disconnect from the VM and Connect” again. Now you will get the “Enhanced Session” configuration window.


Now click on “Show Options” | Local Resources | Settings and make sure “Play on the computer” and “Record from the computer” are enabled so a device is passed to the VM and Lync has audio devices.


You can edit/save these settings later by going to the Hyper-V Manager, right-click the VM and click “Edit Session Settings”.

Can I have two VM sharing the same speaker & Microphones?

From my testing it seems to work just fine. Each VM will allow you to set the volume of that VM. I did not see a way to give different VM’s different audio devices. (perhaps I overlooked something?)

What happens if I call from one VV Lync client to another VM on the same Host Sharing the same Speaker/Mic?

Well, of course this needed immediate testing. So you have 2 Lync clients in 2 different VM’s sharing the same host speaker and microphone…what on earth will happen? Nothing spectacular other than the normal squawking feedback. (I was expecting an explosion.)


What do the audio settings look like in Lync?



Let’s Push Our Luck, What About a Video Camera?

So far I couldn’t make it work, but didn’t spend much time…


I will add any other anomalies and interesting things I find.

Lync Anonymous Response Group Limitations and Field Notes


Lync Server Response Groups can be setup to “Enable agent anonymity”. Enabling agent anonymity, or, Anonymous Response Groups, will hide the agent (Lync user who is answering the RGS call or making a call on behalf of a RGS) from the incoming caller and allow users to call out as a Response Group instead of as themselves.

How Does a RGS Agent Call Out as an RGS?

Pretty much just like they would if they were a Delegate for another user. If a Lync user/Agent is a part of a RGS that is enabled for agent anonymity, there will be another item in the “Call” dropdown for the RGS. (shown below)


There are some limitations and quirks to be aware of when implementing anonymous response groups.

Anonymous Call Limitations

  • No conferencing, application sharing, desktop sharing, file transfer, white boarding, data collaboration or call recording. (source: click here)
  • Anonymous calls cannot start with IM or video and bump up to audio


  • Handset Answers Instead of Headset when answering with Lync toast
  • Blind Transfer won’t go to voicemail (like Blind transfer) and won’t return user who transferred the call (like Safe transfer)

Handset Answers Instead of Headset when answering with Lync Toast

If a Lync user answering anonymous RGS calls has both a Handset (ie: Lync Phone Edition) and a Headset with the Headset selected as the “Primary Device” (as shown below)  if the user answers with the Lync call toast (versus answering via Headset button) the call will actually be answered on the Handset.


Blind Transfers Won’t Go To Voicemail or Return to User That Transferred the Call

If a user receives an anonymous RGS call and blind transfers the call to another user, if the call is not answered the caller won’t go to voicemail (like Blind transfer) and won’t return user who transferred the call (like Safe transfer) but the call will just ring endlessly until the caller hangs up.

Below is the official verbiage that I think is trying to convey this message: (source: click here)


Official RGS config page:

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications 2014: Microsoft Lync Takes Lead from Cisco


Cisco and Microsoft have been vying for the top of the Gartner Unified Communications “Leader” quadrant for some time and, according to Jamie Stark (Product Manager Microsoft Lync), Microsoft has taken the lead from Cisco in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications 2014 report that was published August 4, 2014 by Bern Elliot & Steve Blood. The report is available here.


Here is the 2014 Magic Quadrant:


Some of my quick observations on the 2014 Magic Quadrant UC Report after a quick scan:

  • Microsoft pulls ahead of Cisco on “Completeness of Vision” and ties on “Ability to Execute” (from what my eye can see)
  • Mitel moves into Leader quadrant click here
    • Interesting to note that Mitel purchased several Lync products this year Click Here
  • Siemens Enterprise Communication became Unify and dropped from “Leaders” to “Visionary” quadrant

Below is the motion of UC players from 2006 to 2014 by Gartner. Microsoft has been the Top vendor in the Leader Quadrant for all but 2 years between 2006 and 2014. (if you want a YouTube version of below video that you can pause click here)

2006-2014 Gartner Quadrant

I will write some more thoughts on the report after I more thoroughly read the report.

You can get the full Gartner 2014 UC report via Microsoft with no sign up/1 click, click here


2014 Gartner Unified Communications Report: (August 4, 2014)

2012 and 2013 Reports:

Microsoft Analyst Reports:

Commentary on Gartner 2014 Report:

Other: Click Here