In March 2015, we announced that Microsoft Lync has been rebranded as Skype for Business, bringing the familiar and well-loved Skype experience to the workplace, combined with the trusted enterprise-grade Lync platform.
We are happy to announce that Lync Rooms Systems will be updated with the Skype for Business experience. On November 10, we are rolling out a Cumulative Update to all existing Crestron, Polycom and SMART Lync Room Systems, updating the user interface (UI) and branding to Skype for Business. The Cumulative Update will either be applied automatically, or manually, depending on the policy set by the IT admin. The update does not change the functionality, but users will see a sleeker, darker design theme, attuned to large-screen viewing.
Let’s take a look at the new user interface.
The image below shows the pre-meeting calendar UI on the console. The console, positioned at the center of the meeting room table, is used to control the meeting room experience. The design changes include a dark background theme, round icons and a round presence indicator, as well as the Skype for Business logo.
Pre-meeting calendar UI on the console.
The in-meeting UI of the console now also closely resembles the Skype for Business look and feel and includes buttons like Pause Video, Mute Room and New Whiteboard, specific for meetings.
In-meeting UI on the console.
The video gallery UI on the displays in front of the meeting room also has been updated to the Skype for Business design.
Dual displays in front of room with the video gallery.
The UI of presenting a PowerPoint on the display in the front of the room will not change, though also, here the video gallery on the second display gets a slightly darker background color, as shown below.
Dual displays in front of room, presenting PowerPoint.
The end-user education, basic meeting room use scenarios go unchanged. Meeting room organizers will continue to be able to start meetings, share content and change display modalities the same way they did before the Cumulative Update.
System administrators should note that the Admin UI under Options > Settings has undergone minimal design theme change—largely restricted to “Lync” text being changed to “Skype for Business.”
New Private settings
Ever walked past a meeting room and noticed that the Lync Room System calendar is visible through a glass barrier or door? Meeting organizers have always had the option of marking a meeting as Private in an Outlook invite, but this prevents executive administrators from being able to see the subject line. To improve this experience, we’ve added a feature in this Cumulative Update that allows the room admin to turn the room calendar subject line visibility on or off. This feature is accessed on the console in Admin mode, under Options > Settings.
Previous Cumulative Updates added quite a number of new features, such as the ability to directly project from a PC in the room into the meeting, a redesign of the dial pad on the console, steps to add a Skype Meeting and the ability for IT admins to install anti-virus software on the Room System. In the next update, we will continue our mission to span a wider range of meeting room sizes and enable additional cameras and sound systems.
Stay tuned for the next update!
—David Groom, senior program manager for the Skype for Business team