Avoid SkypeforBusinessRetail Product ID with the Office Deployment Tool for Click-to-Run

By | March 12, 2016

The following issue is with the SkypeforBusinessRetail Click-to-Run (C2R) product ID, which causes roadblocks for organizations looking to roll out a standalone full Skype for Business client.

When using the Office Deployment Tool (ODT) for Click-to-Run 2016: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=49117 you have the ability to pass specific product IDs for deployment. The supported product ID list can be found at: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2842297

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Armed with the above supported information, use the Office Deployment Tool to install the full Skype for Business 2016 client as a standalone C2R package.
Sample configuration file:

<Configuration>
 <Add OfficeClientEdition="32" Branch="Current">
  <Product ID="SkypeforBusinessRetail">
   <Language ID="en-us" />
  </Product>
 </Add>
</Configuration>

So far so good, you see Skype for Business 2016 listed under Add and Remove Programs and Start Menu.
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Now you go to launch Skype for Business and as expected you’re greeted with an activation prompt.
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After activation is completed, there are updates available… Wait, I installed the latest build in my Channel?
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Once updates apply, you notice the standalone Skype for Business client is no more and you have the full Office 2016 product suite…
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How do we get the full Skype for Business 2016 C2R client? Use the ODT with O365ProPlusRetail as a product ID and exclude all the other Office applications using the ExcludeApp element: https://technet.microsoft.com/library/jj219426.aspx#BKMK_ExcludeAppElement
Sample configuration file:

<Configuration>
    <Add OfficeClientEdition="32" Branch="Current">
        <Product ID="O365ProPlusRetail">
            <Language ID="en-us"/>
            <ExcludeApp ID="Access"/>
            <ExcludeApp ID="Excel"/>
            <ExcludeApp ID="Groove"/>
            <ExcludeApp ID="OneNote"/>
            <ExcludeApp ID="Outlook"/>
            <ExcludeApp ID="PowerPoint"/>
            <ExcludeApp ID="Project"/>
            <ExcludeApp ID="Publisher"/>
            <ExcludeApp ID="Visio"/>
            <ExcludeApp ID="Word"/>
        </Product>
    </Add>
</Configuration>

Now we can activate and use Skype for Business without other Office 2016 applications being installed.
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At the time of this posting (March 12, 2016), the Deferred Channel can’t activate when using product ID=”SkypeforBusinessRetail”, which is the same experience the other update Channels had prior to January 2016.
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One thought on “Avoid SkypeforBusinessRetail Product ID with the Office Deployment Tool for Click-to-Run

  1. Heinz

    Thanks for showing up this!
    I had exactly the same issue and spent hours finding a solution, wondering if this behaviour will be fixed by MSFT…

    Reply

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