Over the weekend, I decided to “improve” the Office 2013 ADMX template for Skype for Business client. Having deployed Skype for Business server for a few customers there are certain end user experience requirements that could not be delivered using the standard ADMX provided by Microsoft. To avoid the worry of pushing out settings using batch files and registry imports which at the best of times can have its own unique problems, I thought why not give an ADMX a shot?
With that in mind, I decided rather than to start from scratch with my own ADMX, I would use the Office 2013 ADMX as a baseline.
Although, the improvements are by no means ground breaking it lifts the complexity of some of the common questions posed by end users and even some business compliance requirements. Hopefully, someone will find them useful🙂
I should probably point out here, that this ADMX is not supported by Microsoft, but I have tested this on several machines and had no catastrophic problems. Enter the usual disclaimer: Use at your own risk!
- Automatically add Windows Firewall rules to the client workstation when Skype for Business starts
- Disable to first-run video of Skype for Business Client
- Set Skype for Business client as the default IM Provider on the client workstation
- Force Skype for Business client to start when user signs in to the workstation
- Disable the conversation preservation state
- Change the default trace logging directory to a custom location (wouldn’t use this for hot desk / multiple SIP account machines)
- Enable Windows Event logging for the Skype for Business client (use for troubleshooting only!)
- Disable IM Spell Checking
- Disable the use of Emoticons and disable viewing of Emoticons
- Download the Office 2013 ADMX files from Microsoft – http://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/download/details.aspx?id=35554
- Extract files to a folder of your choice.
- Copy the ADMX and ADML files to your Group Policy central store
- Download the Skype for Business ADMX from my One Drive – http://1drv.ms/1CgwEng
- Extract the files, and copy and paste them into your Group Policy central store. This will not overwrite the Lync ADMX file
- Open Group Policy Management Console and create your GPO!
It is worth noting that settings configured using the Lync ADMX will also apply to Skype for Business clients and therefore you should configure the shared settings using the supported version of the ADMX (lync) and any Skype for Business settings using the SfB ADMX.
The settings in the Skype for Business ADMX are considered to be user preference settings. This means that if you apply them to a machine and later remove the GPO, the settings will not be removed. To revert the settings back to default, you must first undo your changes in the ADMX and let them apply to the workstation before removing the GPO.