Announced way back in November 2014, Microsoft destined its Lync product to be consumed by Skype. At that time, Microsoft just said the switchover would occur sometime in 2015. Fast forward to March 2015 and Microsoft reiterated its stance. Zi Serafin, Corporate Vice President for Skype Business Services, made the announcement during a keynote at Enterprise Connect and then Microsoft subsequently rolled out a preview client for IT folks to get accustomed to the new UI.
The switchover is scheduled to happen on April 14th and the changes will be rolled out as a Lync update for Office 365 Pro Plus, Office 365 Business and Premium, and Office 2013.
Obviously, Microsoft's regular updates come with a stiff bit of caution. So, what if you want to stage the update? What if you want to delay the update until you can test it?
You can't delay the update forever, as it's not going to go away. It's not like holding on to Windows XP or Windows Server 2003, the update has to happen sometime soon.
To help, Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus and Office 2013 allows you to control when monthly updates are delivered to users. And, secondly, Microsoft has made available some PowerShell scripts for Lync Online and Lync Server administrators.
For Lync Online and Skype for Business Online
Disable Skype user interface (UI) for all users: Grant-CsClientPolicy -PolicyName ClientPolicyDisableSkypeU
Enable Skype UI for all users: Grant-CsClientPolicy -PolicyName ClientPolicyEnableSkypeUI
For Lync Server and Skype for Business Server
Enable Skype UI for all users: Set-CsClientPolicy -Identity Global -EnableSkypeUI $true
Disable Skype user interface (UI) for all users: Set-CsClientPolicy -Identity Global -EnableSkypeUI $false
UPDATE: The PowerShell scripts are now also available for download from the Microsoft Download Center: Skype for Business Online - Switching the client user interface