Skype for Business Mac Client December 2016 Update Summary

There’s been an update announced for the Skype for Business Mac client that I’m sure users will be delighted with and that Desktop Sharing is here !! but its noted as in Peer to Peer Audio calls and also Video Based Screen Sharing for Skype for Business Online is here as well. A link to SfB blog post is here

The blog has screenshots of the desktop sharing feature and link to Skype Academy video but the video seems to be still on the November update even thought its titled December 2016, i guess this will be updated very soon.

This follows the recent cumulative update last month for the Mac client so the second update to two month is very welcomed and show just how invested Microsoft are with the new SfB Mac Client.

Noted on the blog post is that the December updates bring

  • Audio calls now support desktop sharing
  • VbSS viewing for Office 365 online users
  • Single Windows Mode for 2013 Server users
  • Several other improvements for the client

I think one of the most asked questions from users was the missing desktop sharing as its a feature i used and i know many many people do every day.

Manual Download to new Update

Version Number

With December 2016 update –

Features Added

Features Added Details
Audio calls now support desktop sharing The ability to share desktops in P2P communications has been asked for by many Mac users. As part of our first step to get this feature enabled, we have enabled sharing during an audio call. In the first image, the Mac client has shared their desktop during an audio call. The second image shows the same share from a Windows client perspective. We know there is more to do and it’s on our roadmap to further enhance this experience.
VbSS viewing for Office 365 online users In September 2015, we announced VbSS and added this improved form of sharing to the Windows client. Over the course of the last year we have enabled many of our clients.  And now, it’s available for the Skype for Business on Mac client. This mode of sharing performs better, supports higher frame rates, and the setup time is faster than RDP (our original approach to sharing). In this release, we have specifically enabled viewing using VbSS. If others share using VbSS, the Mac client will also use VbSS to view. If the Mac user wants to share their desktop, they will use RDP to share. We also have VbSS sharing on our futures roadmap and will let you know when that is enabled.
Single Windows Mode for 2013 Server users This has been a very popular ask by many of our customers. This allows the user to see their active IM conversations in a single window (with tabs). We have now added this feature for Lync 2013 Server customers. You will just need to enable the policy “EnableIMAutoArchiving” to enable for users on this release
Several other improvements for the client References release notes for the client but still looking for this.

Known Issues – Its worth reading over these !

Known Issues link for the Mac Client is here and was last updated 12/12/2016.

I recommend reading the known issues list as there’s quite a few two important ones are E911 support requires latest Server CU and Mobility is required unless you have applied the latest Server side CU. More details are below in the update information.


How do i update ?

Two methods which are the same as the previous updates.

  • Either using the Microsoft AutoUpdate (MAU) if you have already deployed the SfB Mac client already Smile
  • Or for new users a manual download via Microsoft download centre here

Do i need to update Lync / SfB Servers ?

For the December update the requirements server side are the same as November SfB Mac Client Cumulative update but on the known issues page there are two important things to note, the first around E911 support which is very important and the second the requirement for mobility to be enabled if you dont have the lastest CUs deployed for Lync Server 2013 or SfB Server 2015. Details are below.

  • 911 support requires Skype for Business Server 2015 CU4 (build 9319.272 or higher, now available) or Lync Server 2013 CU8 HF2 (coming soon).

Important: Users will not be able to dial 911 until the CU4 server update is applied.

  • Without Skype for Business Server 2015 CU4 (build 9319.272 or higher, now available) or Lync Server 2013 CU8 HF1 (build 8309.973 or higher, now available), Skype for Business on Mac requires Mobility enablement on the server side. After updating to builds 9317.272 or 8309.973, Mobility enablement will no longer be required.

It does note under the manual download detail that’s its recommended for the best user experience to ensure customers are running the latest Server side cumulative updates which are November 2016 for both SfB and Lync Server 2013. Or it mentions move to Office365 for always up to date infrastructure which made me smile. Downloads link are below.

  • SfB Server 2015 (9319.272 ) – November 2016 CU4 here
  • Lync Server 2013 (8308.974) – November 2016 CU8 HF1 here
  • Lync Server 2010 – SfB Client not supported I’m afraid so it suggests Mac 2011 client only.

Screenshots of update Process and desktop sharing feature

Booted my Mac up, SfB client signed in and i already had a notification that an update was available. Smile


So ill click restart app and it closed and started the update


Click close to the notification


Open SfB


and im done ! nice !


So for desktop screen sharing tests i needed to call on a friend luckily Mark Vale was free Smile and thanks for helping Mark.

So i Started a Peer to Peer Audio Call



Screenshot from Marks Windows Desktop Client with me sharing on Mac


We couldn’t give control but its a great start.

So desktop sharing is just desktop sharing at the moment and only in a peer to peer audio call.



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