I’m excited to formally introduce Microsoft Lync, the new name for the next generation of our real-time communications products, known until today as Communications Server and Communicator. 

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Over the last five years we have been on a journey to transform communications with the power of software.  Lync delivers on this vision by unifying enterprise voice, instant messaging and web, audio and video conferencing into a new, connected communications experience. 

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With nearly 20,000 people inside Microsoft and 100 enterprise customers already using the Lync 2010 beta, the R&D team is on track to deliver the product to market this fall.  As of this Monday, September 13, we’re making the release candidate available to the broader public as well.

A key part of the release is the re-branding to Microsoft Lync.  Lync, a combination of “link” and “sync”, is about connecting people in new ways, anytime, anywhere.  Beyond simplifying and shortening the current branding, customer research found that the name Lync appeals to end users and IT pros, even more than descriptive options like Communicator. 

We will use Lync as the family brand and within each of our communications products.

I’ve been using Lync 2010 – and as my only ‘phone’ – for the past several months and the experience has been amazing.  A few of my favorite features:

1. Switch between your head-set and phone in the middle of a call with device switching.

2. Gotta run? Leave the office and take your call with you on your mobile phone.

3. Select multiple people and click to make a group call, and then drag-and-drop someone into the conference from Outlook.

4. Connect with family while you’re travelling – start a high-definition voice and video conversation with a Windows Live Messenger user.

5. Hush that annoying meeting participant.   When someone is causing bad audio on the conference call, Lync will identify which phone to mute to improve quality – and productivity.

Feel free to contact me with any questions about this exciting product.

Kevin