Office Communicator 2007 R2 had brought sharing monitors and desktop to their everyday phone calls and instant messages. With Microsoft Lync we are taking this one step further by enabling you to share applications as well.  Read on to learn more about all that’s new in sharing with this release.

 Fig 1: Share Menu in Conversation Window
Sharing exactly what you want
The entire list of programs running on your machine will be available to you for sharing. The list of known exceptions is posted here – and can be accessed from the following dialog as well. Each program will be represented by a live thumbnail [and when we say live, we do mean live – try making some changes in your program with this dialog] You can pick one or multiple applications to share.  

Fig 2: Applications with live thumbnails

What do others see when I am sharing? 
Sure I am sharing; but what exactly are others seeing? This is often the burning question that users have once they start sharing. In addition to yellow boundaries around the applications that you are sharing, we also enable you to preview what you are showing to others using the new Preview feature. You can click on preview to get to the preview.

Fig 3: When you start sharing you get a preview button

Fig 4: Preview on sharer’s end

Remote Control Workflows
The following workflows around control are supported; while the first two already existed in the previous release, the last one is an addition this release.

  • Sharer can grant control to a specific person.
  • Sharer can allow everyone in the conference (often used in small highly collaborative sessions)
  • Viewer can request control from sharer.

Once sharer has granted control, user cannot parallel process on another application – since there is only one mouse and keyboard that can be used.

Tip: The sharer can revoke control at any time by a keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Alt + Space

The application sharing toolbar primarily gives you the controls for granting control and for stopping sharing.  The toolbar also notifies you about unread IMs, key warning messages and recording started – in case you are not actively looking at your conversation window. If you are sharing application(s), viewers will not be able to see this toolbar; however the viewers will see the bar if you are sharing the entire monitor or desktop.

Tip 1:  You can unpin the toolbar to hide it from your own screen as well as the viewers. The pin is to the far right. You can also drag around this toolbar using the grippers on the far left.

Tip 2: You can press Ctrl + Alt + J to get the focus to the toolbar. 

Fig 5: Your desktop after sharing starts

Sharing Recent Content
If you had just shared some content; and would like to share it again in the same meeting again, we make it easier for you to do so by going under the share menu for recent content by going to recent content under share menu or by going to content list from the stage.

Fig 6: Recently shared content

Viewers’ Experience


Fig 7: Viewer’s window

Tip - To enlarge the view you can simply hide the video and conversation window pane; by clicking on the arrow in the center of the window. You can also switch to the actual view instead of scale view. You can also go full screen with just the content! Like in the previous release, these can be accessed from the lower right corner of the stage

Performance Improvements
We have improved the latency of screen refresh by cutting the number of seconds to at least half as compared to W13; and manifold when compared with Live Meeting. We have tested over a wide range of scenarios. Microsoft itself is a huge geographically distributed company – where we work with different teams across USA, Europe and Asia all the time. The solution has been working well for us- saving Microsoft a lot of unnecessary travel; and helping real time collaboration! See the section below for recommended bandwidth.

Geek corner

Occlusion is when someone is sharing an application; but has another window sitting on top of it. We have built some smarts around this and the viewer’s experience will not be interrupted when the shared window is occluded. We do have some exceptions to this – when the window on top happens to be a high privileged application, the viewers will see a black window sitting on top of the shared application.
When sharer has granted control the occluding window shows up as a transparent overlay, so that the remote controller knows which areas the clicks will not go through.
We allow client side recording of application sharing both on the sharer side and on the viewer side! If you are watching a demo – and would like to replay it later, try our recording feature! You will see high fidelity sharing replay!
Stuti Jain
Program Manager

Published Tuesday, September 14, 2010 4:20 PM by octeam