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

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=54108

Version Number

With December 2016 update – 16.2.0.145

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.

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Known-issues-Skype-for-Business-on-Mac-494ac5d5-50be-4aa7-8f5a-669c71c98c9a?ui=en-US&rs=en-US&ad=US

 

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

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

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Click close to the notification

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Open SfB

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and im done ! nice !

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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

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Screenshot from Marks Windows Desktop Client with me sharing on Mac

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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.

References

https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Skype-for-Business-Blog/Skype-for-Business-on-Mac-December-Update-available-today/ba-p/35161

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=54108

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=54108

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Known-issues-Skype-for-Business-on-Mac-494ac5d5-50be-4aa7-8f5a-669c71c98c9a?ui=en-US&rs=en-US&ad=US

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Skype for Business Mac Client CU1 Update Summary

Yesterday Microsoft announced Cumulate update 1 for the Skype for Business Mac client which is very welcomed I’m sure ! Check out blog post from Msft here

So what’s new features and improvements has this brought to the Mac client I’m sure is the number 1 question !

But also lets not forget known issues and workarounds, one which is interesting is with single / tabbed conversations windows not available, this seems to be issue with the client not being able to detect if Server-Side conversation history is enabled and it wont default to a single windows experience. It does note to check preferences in the client. More details are below.

Tabbed conversations issue is also noted that it was allowed in previous client version to be used even if the back end infrastructure didn’t allow it previously and some users had message delivery failures and has resulted in this option being removed for some users so user may see conversation windows differences. Microsoft noted they are looking into this.

To use tabbed conversation in single windows its looking like you need Skype for Business server 2015 / SfB Online with Server-side conversation history enabled. To enable server side conversation history you need exchange 2013 or higher / Exchange Online. Also for SfB Server users server side conversation history has be enabled as well. So admins need to check this as well.

Requirements for single/tabbed window experience:

  • Skype for Business Online or Skype for Business Server 2015

  • Server-side conversation history enabled.

Features Added in CU 1

Features Added Details
Manage contact groups Skype for Business Online and Skype for Business Server 2015 users can now add and remove contact groups and enterprise distribution groups to their contact list.
Tag contacts for status change alerts Skype for Business Online, Skype for Business Server 2015, and Lync Server 2013 users can tag a contact so that they are alerted any time the status of the contact changes to online.

Improvements with CU 1

Improvements Details
Messaging Improved sender experience in the case when a recipient is unable to respond to incoming messages.

Fixed chat notification issues — In some cases, new chat notifications were not marked because the client assumed the user read them already.

Meetings Numerous fixes and reliability improvements so you get a more stable meeting experience.
General Calendar syncing issues fixed so at start up meetings can be retrieved correctly.

Sign-in bug fixes — some account types were not able to sign in.

Known Issues

Full list of Known Issues here

CU 1 Known issues highlights

Issue Details
Single/tabbed window experience not available

By default, if your topology meets the following requirements, all conversations will be shown in a single/tabbed window. However, there are cases when the client can’t detect if server-side conversation history is enabled and it will not default to single window view. This can be remedied by updating settings under Preferences.

Requirements for single/tabbed window experience:

  • Skype for Business Online or Skype for Business Server 2015

  • Server-side conversation history enabled.

Troubleshooting if single window mode is not available, check the following:

  • Preferences > General > Show conversation in separate windows is unchecked.image

E-911 with ADFS not supported This is a known issue and will be addressed in a future update of Skype for Business Server 2015.
Menu to add/rename/delete contact group are disabled right after adding a new group Workaround: Select any contact or group, and the menu will be re-enabled.
Expand/Collapse Group Chevron icon is out of sync with the list of contacts after minimize/maximize Skype for Business Workaround: Click on the chevron to correct the icon.
Adding a distribution group that has more than 100 contacts will result to 100 contacts only Workaround: To view the full member list of distribution group, use Outlook to expand the group.

How do i get the update ?

Two methods,

  • 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

Client Version number

With CU 1 – 16.1.0.456

Do i need to update my Skype for Business Server or Lync Servers ?

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 im afraid so it suggests Mac 2011 client only.

Also i have found info on the mobility requirements on the known issues page which mentions the latest CU updates for SfB Server and Lync Servers and notes mobility is not required if the latest CU 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.

 

Here’s some screenshots of Updates and improvements

MAU Update process for SfB Client

I had a new update for the MAU so updated this first.

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It then opened and i checked for updates.

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I quit the Skype for Business client as it was running in the background and selected retry

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It checks for more update and its done.

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You can check About Skype for Business for the new version

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Improvements Screenshots

Contacts – Create new groups from menu

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Add a name

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Add to Contact list

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You can move contacts by right clicking and moving

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Had a bit of an issue when i tried to delete group by right click and option greyed out

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Selected group and used Contact menu option and greyed out

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this was an empty group so i thought lets assign a user and see what happens that didn’t work. I got an error message so i signed quit the client and restarted and its ok now. I did add a new group previously with the same name and got an error so perhaps this caused it. I did try to recreate the duplicate group name error and test deleting groups again after restarting but all was ok.

I tried again and it was ok.

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Add Group with Same name i get error.

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Tag for Status Change

Right click on contacts and you can select tag.

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Once tagged theres a tick

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Separate Conversations

It does seem like separate conversations is happening and im using SfB Online with Exchange Online.

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Checked preferences

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References

https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/nexthop/2016/11/22/skype-for-business-on-mac-cu1-released/

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/What-s-new-in-Skype-for-Business-2016-cece9f93-add1-4d93-9a38-56cc598e5781?ui=en-US&rs=en-US&ad=US&fromAR=1#OS_Type=Mac

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Known-issues-Skype-for-Business-on-Mac-494ac5d5-50be-4aa7-8f5a-669c71c98c9a?ui=en-US&rs=en-US&ad=US