Thursday, 24 September 2015

Office 2016 Skype for Business Client links

Hi Readers.  Just a quick post today on Office 2016 and Skype for Business client.

Like many others I installed Office 2016 yesterday.  In my case I have a Surface 3 and I have an Office 365 tenant on Business Premium.  

I had Office 2013 installed from the Office 2013 Click to Run media.  I also happened to have Skype for Business Basic installed, although this was merely the Lync Basic client with the updates to the Skype for Business UI. 

I went to the link in my Office 365 Admin portal to install the latest version of Office and it started to download.  

The installer complained that because I had Lync Basic that it would need to be removed to continue.  So I agreed and moved on.  

Once Office was finished installing I found that it didn't include Skype for Business.  I found a link on the portal to install Skype for Business.
So I clicked it and it took me to a page with a link to a standalone installer.

 I clicked install and a warning popped up stating that "We have detected these newer versions of Office installed on your device." and my only choice was to close.
I needed Skype for Business on my machine so I rolled back to Office 2013.  I raised a support case with the Office 365 team.  

The agent walked me through completely removing all traces of Office 2013 from my Surface.  Uninstall, Registry, Files and Folders.

Back to the installer.  I installed Office 2016 again from the Click to Run.  Once done it didn't include Skype for Business.  The agent gave me three links to standalone installers of Skype for Business, specifically for Office 365 customers.

For customers using Business SKU’s - Business Essentials, Business and Business Premium
The product id is LyncEntryRetail
This installs the Skype for Business Basic client.

For customers using Enterprise plans and Office Pro Plus SKU’s - E1, E3 and E4

The product id is LyncRetail 
This installs the Skype for Business full client - however it asks for an email address, phone number or a product code to activate.  I entered my Office 365 email address and it reverted back to Basic.  If I was on an Enterprise Plan it would have been the full client.  In the end I used a product key and it installed an update. 

For customers using Academic Plans - A1,A3 and A4 

The product id is LyncAcademicRetail
This also installs the full client, but will ask for an email address.  Like the Enterprise one above, if the account isn't associated with an Academic Plan it will revert to basic.

The agent also confirmed that they are aware that many users are having problems installing the Skype for Business client with Office 2016.  So they published a support article.

Skype for Business is removed when you upgrade to Office 2016

Consider the following scenario.
  • You have the stand-alone version of Skype for Business installed on your computer.
  • You have Microsoft Office 365 Business or Office 365 Business Premium, and you upgrade Microsoft Office 2013 to Office 2016.
In this scenario, you may experience the following issues: 
  • The Skype for Business client is removed.
  • When you try to reinstall the stand-alone Skype for Business client, you receive the following error message:
    We have detected these newer versions of Office installed on your device.
The workaround is to install the client from one of the links in the article. This installs the Skype for Business Basic client.  

English (US)
Skype for Business stand-alone (32-bit)
Skype for Business stand-alone (64-bit)

The silver lining here is that a lot of people have been waiting for a standalone Skype for Business installer and now here it is.  The alternative was previously to install the Lync 2013 basic client and the two updates to upgrade to the Skype for Business UI.
This issue occurs because the download links for the Skype for Business client in the Office 365 admin center refer to the earlier version of Office.
This is a known issue. We're working to address this issue and will post more information in this article when it becomes available.
The agent confirmed that they are working on providing the correct media which includes the Skype for Business full client OR a link to a working Skype for Business full installer in the portal for Business customers.
This topic has exploded all over social media and many confirm that the MSDN copy includes Skype for Business.  I can confirm that too.  
Justin Barker confirmed it is also included in the Office 2016 Click to Run for Enterprise Plans.
So the problem is just with Office 365 Business plans.  As soon as Microsoft fully resolve this I will update the post. 
Thanks to all of you that have tested and confirmed various scenarios.  Andrew Morpeth, Martin Boam, Luca Vitali and of course Justin Barker.
Hope this helps. 
Thanks for reading.  

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