Skype for Mac GA – 7 ‘Other’ Known Issues not mentioned

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Good Evening All.

For the past 5 months I’ve been fortunate enough to be one of a few people/companies to test the in-flight builds of Skype for Mac. For the People who may be aware this used to be called TAP as in part of the ‘TAP’ program. These days its called the sprint program and like I say, myself and Modality Systems (the company I work for) are part of Sprint around various new and exciting elements of the Skype program. **there is lots coming down the line I promise 🙂

Anyway back to Skype for Mac. Today, Microsoft announced the release of the GA build .3638 of the Skype for Mac client. Also they also created a page of known issues with the GA build or rather issues that have been present in the builds for a long time while I’ve been testing/using. The list of public known issues is HERE

So why have I produced this blog post.? Well.. the list of public known issues isn’t the full story of issues.. yes there are more, so what I wanted to do was provide awareness and guidance around them. So in no particular order..

1, P2P desktop sharing still not available

Yes, desktop sharing today in the client isn’t available and will become a pain in the backside for you. Also to confirm this is both a two way issue as in if the other peer user tries to desktop share to you, that won’t work either.

Workaround is… bridge in a third person to your original P2P call and make it into a conference. In this scenario desktop sharing works.

2, Message from other IM users to you.? ‘Unable to send Instant Message’

For the past 5 months this issue has drove me to distraction, and has been reported many many many times to Microsoft product group but yet its still in the build including GA .3638. **note I’m running a newer build version to this .36xx and its still a bug in that as well. 

So what is the bug? Its hard to pinpoint to a actual sequence or task you are doing. A while back I thought it was linked to my Mac screensaver getting activated as I was always told from people who tried to IM me that the IM’s were getting bounced back AFTER say I’ve been for lunch or in a meeting i.e.: when the screensaver came on. However the issue is more wide spread than that and even in short periods of inactivity the same thing happens. At this moment what I do know is, if you actively using your Mac the bug won’t appear. However, if you leave your Mac for 10 mins the bug does appear. (its almost like the client looses connectivity to the server and therefore bounces IM’s back). NOTE: You still get the bounced messages as if there was never an issue, so you won’t know the person sending them is getting the undelivered message if they don’t tell you.

3, Skype for Mac is still a ring fenced entity within the office for mac suit. Other office products have no interaction with the client for things like click to dial etc

Not much to say about this apart from click to join, telephony numbers in word docs or sip names don’t automatically resolve and function within the Skype for Mac client.

4, Adding people to conferences from the Skype for Mac client, crashes the client

I think there is a slight underlaying bug again without good reason of activity or task, but what I still see from time to time is dragging a 3rd person into a P2P call or an existing conference will crash the client. **whats funny though, is the person you was dragging into the conference actually joins, but you get kicked out due to the crash of the Mac client.

5, No ability to mass delete IM conversations

Again not a big issue but certainly if your like me and have a gazillion IM’s going at once it is annoying that you can mass delete the IM history from the Mac client. It would be nice to ‘command A’ and delete all the IM’s in one fell swoop. Sadly you can’t.

ALSO, the ability to ‘command + del’ in rapid succession does not work either meaning you will have to select almost every IM thread before you can delete it from the IM window.

6, Headsets not certified yet (plantronics, Sennheiser and Jabra) randomly come off mute sporadically.

Headsets are a key part of the Skype for Business ecosystem, yet for all the ones I’ve used with the new Mac client (I would say 99% of certified endpoints) ALL suffer the same issue of when on mute in a conference call, the headset will whisper in your ear that you are no longer on mute. This can happen at random times, even when leaning back in your chair and not even touching the keyboard/Mac machine. What makes this bug even more of a challenge is that the Skype for Mac client onscreen visually has you still on mute.!! so the 64 million dollar question is. which ‘thing is right’ ?? the headset saying you OFF mute, OR the Skype for Mac client visually saying your still on mute.!! Arghh.. **to confirm the Skype for Mac client is always correct you do stay on mute even though sporadically the headset will tell you your not.

so the moral of this issue is, don’t believe everything you hear.. !

7,  Sound conflicts in calls when you get an outlook email through. **Makes the audible call appear robotic

Odd bug this one… You could be quite happy on a call of some type talking away, then you get a inbound email. What I have certainly found at this point is, my speech to the end user I’m talking to becomes robotic while I guess the sound notification from the email finishes. After this the audio in the Skype for Mac call becomes ok again, until the next email, then Robotic and so on……

The only workaround I’ve found is to turn of email notification sounds which then stops the interference with the Skype for Mac clients audio.


That’s all for now, I hope you have a great experience with the Mac client, and it is a good client, and will be even better over the next few updates.

Iain Smith

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Microsoft Lync for Mac – Contact Searching, unable for auto find or users

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For this review I’m going to concentrate on another oddity with Lync for Mac, this time its around the issue of when you try and search for a colleague within the Lync for mac client you don’t actually find anyone unless you put their absolute path into the search field. i.e.: iain.smith@northernlync.co.uk why is this..??

In version 14.04 onward of the Lync for Mac client another bug was introduced this it is around the contact.db/idx files not updating. or if you’ve installed a fresh install of Lync for mac 14.04 or higher you won’t even get the contact.dc.idx files.

these are located library/caches then folder called com.microsoft.lync

so what is the bug, ?

This issue is around the fact the Lync client policy is set for do the following on the address book download – filedownloadwebsearch (do a get-csclientpolicy in powershell)

The Lync for mac does try and attempts to do the file download but errors within itself and stops trying to do anything else, and it fails to even try to use the web search option.At the time of writing there isn’t any fix from Microsoft of this bug and the only ‘workaround’ is the following.

Create a new client policy for mac users called something like – MacUsers?. to create a client policy check any policies associated with your users and mirror the settings apart from the address book download as you need change this to be Websearchonly.

eg:

New-CsClientPolicy -Identity MacUsers -AddressbookAvailability WebSearchOnly -DisableCalendarPresence $True -DisablePhonePresence $True -DisplayPhoto "PhotosFromADOnly"

Once you’ve created your new policy grant these to your Mac users and your searching will start to work successfully.

Microsoft Lync for Mac – Client Crashing

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Due to my work computer being a Macbook Pro (my choice), i use the MS Lync client called Lync for Mac. Unfortunately this client isn’t as polished as its windows equivalent and the feature set shortcomings are abundant.

Apart from the shortcomings which i will gloss over ;), there is a few fundamental bugs still in the Lync for Mac software.

In this post i will talk around one of the major ones which i think will probably effect most mac users. Lync unexpectedly crashing without notice or even input.

So based on alot of digging around what is causing this unexpected behaviour. The error log proves useless, and provides little information on whats happening.

After speaking with MS on this issue, the top and bottom of it is the fact something at the time of the crashing is plugged into either the thunderbolt port or a USB port. Within the Lync for mac code is a bug which for one reason or another doesn’t like the fact external peripherals being present on the mentioned ports.

So what is the resolution to this.?

Simple really, upgrade/patch your Lync for Mac to version 14.07.02 firstly, then apply the hot fix from Microsoft HERE, this will put the version to 14.07.02 (140123). NOTE: This hot fix isn’t readily available yet, and its by request of MS.

Once you’ve updated and installed the hot fix your wows of the Lync for Mac client are over. (well for time being)