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USB Headset Troubleshooting: Lync call control with Windows 8

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I am running Lync on my Microsoft Surface RT. I cannot answer calls using my headset controls. I must answer by clicking on the screen. How can I fix this?


Headset call control is not supported on tablets running Windows 8 RT. Calls can only be answered/ended with the on screen controls.

The situation with Lync and Windows 8 is complicated. Microsoft has two different versions of Windows 8 and two different versions of Lync. Compatibility with the different versions is dependent on tablet/PC hardware design. Only certain combinations support headset call control.

Windows 8 is available in two versions: Windows 8 Pro and Windows 8 RT.
  • Windows 8 Pro is the most common. It is the standard Windows OS used on Desktop PCs and laptops. Windows 8 Pro is also available on many tablets including the Microsoft Surface Pro and devices from Dell, Samsung, Asus and other manufacturers. Windows 8 Pro runs standard Windows compatible programs. Typically programs that run on Windows XT, Vista and Windows 7 will run on Windows 8 Pro.
  • Windows 8 RT is a reduced capability program designed for lower cost tablets with less powerful processors. Windows 8 RT is used on Microsoft Surface RT, Nokia2520 and a few other products. Windows RT runs only “apps” designed for Windows RT. Standard Windows programs will not run on Windows RT.
Microsoft Lync is available in two versions:
  • Lync 2010 and Lync 2013 are full Windows programs compatible with Windows 8 Pro (also Windows 7, Vista and XT). Lync 2013 and Lync 2010 support headset call control and are compatible with Plantronics Spokes.
  • The Lync app is available for free on the Microsoft Marketplace. The Lync app is the only version compatible with Windows 8 RT. The Lync app is also compatible with full Windows 8 Pro. The Lync app does not support headset call controls and is not compatible with Plantronics Spokes.
Image of the Lync 2013 window   Image of the Lync app window
Lync 2013                                     Lync App Summary
  • If you have a Windows RT tablet your only Lync option is the Lync app. You will not have headset call control
  • If you have a computer/tablet running Windows 8 Pro you can run either the full Lync program or the Lync app. The full Lync program supports headset call control. The Lync app does not support headset call control.
  • The information in this article applies only for USB connected headsets.