by Brian Crum

Product Marketing Manager, Microsoft Lync

We’re always interested in seeing how Lync is used and viewed by others – it’s how we continue to focus on delivering the best UC experience possible. There’s a number of ways we do that – talking to customers and partners, considering direct feedback from Lync Preview users, and reading analyst research. Recently, we were very pleased to be placed in the “leaders” quadrant for the 2012 Gartner[i] Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications and the “visionaries” quadrant for the 2012 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Corporate Telephony – particularly since our placements reflected only our Lync 2010 family of products. That recognition makes us even more excited about what we’re going to deliver in the new Lync, and I’d like to highlight a few of the most exciting aspects of our upcoming release while describing our differentiated approach to Unified Communications.

Lync & Skype – connecting you to nearly everyone, from nearly anywhere

With Skype now part of the Microsoft family, new possibilities open up for extending unified communications scenarios to hundreds of millions of people, making rich experiences the new common denominator for business communications. This begins with the upcoming release of Lync, when Lync users will be able to see presence and IM or call anyone on Skype. This combination of the best of both products will enable customers to connect and collaborate without constraints with suppliers, customers, and partners with the reach of Skype and the controls, manageability, and enterprise-grade features of Lync.

Unlocking new scenarios on Windows 8 & Windows RT with the new Lync Windows Store App

In addition to our new Lync 2013 desktop client, we’ve developed a new Lync App specifically for Windows 8 and Windows RT – which will work beautifully on the broad range of new Windows devices launching in the months ahead.

The new Lync App – which will be available in the Windows Store in late October and will be is available now in the Windows Store and compatible with both Lync Server 2010 and Lync Server 2013 – is Lync re-imagined for the new Windows Experience, and optimized for touch, providing fast, natural, hands-on control of your communications. The new Lync App is a unified client integrating voice & video calls, Lync Meetings, presence and instant messaging in a fast, fluid, easy-to-use client. I’ve been using the new Lync App for the last few months, and it’s amazing – multiparty simultaneous HD video, one-touch Lync Meeting join, and an awesome snapped/filled view multitasking experience, just to name a few. Install it today, learn more about the new Lync App in this short video, and let us know what you think.

Lync 2013 Mobile Clients add voice and video over IP

In the “PC plus" world, we know that delivering a multi-platform Lync communications solution – tailored to the specific strengths and capabilities of each particular platform – is absolutely necessary. That’s why we delivered our Lync 2010 mobile clients across not only the Windows Phone, but Nokia Symbian, iOS and Android as well.

And we’re excited to enhance our single client mobile UC apps by delivering VoIP and video to Windows Phone, iOS and Android – and we can’t wait to demonstrate and talk more about our new Lync apps in the months ahead.

H.264 SVC support & enhanced Lync Meeting capabilities

With H.264 SVC, Multiparty HD video and new amazing Lync Meeting controls we enable great meeting experiences and collaboration, so that you can truly be there without going there. SVC enables Lync to deliver video effectively to a wide range of endpoints with different screen sizes without requiring heavy transcoding. We’re tremendously excited about Mulitparty HD video, enhanced presenter controls, customizable views, the enhanced Lync Web App (delivering the full Lync Meeting experience to PC and Mac users through Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox and Chrome), OneNote Share, and much more – and we’ll provide a deeper dive into the enhanced Lync Meeting experience in a later post.

Lync + Skype + Office – better together, and only Microsoft can deliver it

In many ways, I’ve always considered Lync the communications glue that helped make our Office productivity suite feel more connected, more personal. Well that connectedness gets even better with Skype, and deepened Office integration. We’ve improved the People Card - consistent across all Office productivity apps – including rich presence information, click-to-communicate capabilities, social network integration, and much more. We’ve made it easier than ever to share your work through deeper integration into the backstage of Office apps, allowing you to quickly send your work via IM or present in a Lync Meeting, all directly from the document you’re working on. We’ve even re-imagined the connected note-taking experience through Shared OneNote – providing a single shared note for your Lync Meeting, so you can stay on the same page before, during and after your important meetings.

We’re extremely excited about the new Lync and can’t wait to share and show more in the months ahead. Now…if you haven’t already – go try Lync Preview for yourself, reach out to your local Microsoft Sales Professional to learn even more, and let us know what you think.

--Brian



[i] Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner's research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.