Nikolay Muravlyannikov, Lync Program Manager II
Debbie Arbeeny, Lync Program Manager II
Tim Woo, Lync Technical Product Manager

In the November Update for the Lync 2013 Desktop Client, the Lync team is pleased to introduce several new features to enhance your Lync experience. These were created based on the feedback we received from our partners and customers through Microsoft field personnel and Technology Adoption Programs (TAP). So please continue to provide feedback to your Microsoft contacts so we can continue to make your Lync experience even better!

Note that while these features work out of the box from a client perspective, your administrator may have to enable/change settings on the server side for you to get the functionality shown below. If you are a Lync administrator, please refer to the following post on NextHop.

Features included in the November Update:

  • Photos of Sender/Receiver – View photos of sender/receiver inline with IM conversation
  • URL Photo Experience – Set your own photo from a public web site instead of using the corporate image
  • pChat Escalation – Escalate a Persistent Chat room to a Lync Meeting with one click
  • Login Trace Files – Easily access Lync client login logs
  • New Recording Options Choose preferred resolution for client-side recordings

Photos of Sender/Receiver

Within the IM window, we added the capability to view photos of the sender/receiver inline with the conversation. This adds visual context to your IM conversations, particularly in conference scenarios where multiple people may be chatting at the same time.

The feature works with both Lync Server and Lync Online deployments.

Photos of sender/receiver in an IM window
Pic 1. Photos of sender/receiver in an IM window

All participants in the conversation are not required to have a client with the November Update for the photos to appear. Those with the update will see the photos; those with older clients will not.

To learn more about this feature, please see http://www.office.com/redir/HA102828919.aspx.

URL Photo Experience

The URL photo experience feature allows you to use photos from any public site, such as Yammer, Facebook, and SkyDrive, as your Lync picture. Setting a personal photo through a URL gives you the ability to personalize your Lync experience with contacts, including federated contacts.

The feature works only with Lync Server deployments.

Interface of Lync client with URL photo option
Pic 2. Interface of Lync client with URL photo option

Users can add photos from any public site through a URL. However, in order for others to see your photo, they need to have access to the site where this photo has been placed (they must be registered with Yammer, Facebook, etc.) so it should not be a private site.

To learn more about this feature, please see http://www.office.com/redir/HA102895233.aspx.

pChat Escalation

This feature facilitates escalating a Persistent Chat (pChat) room to a Lync Meeting with all participants of that room. It simplifies the escalation experience and allows you to begin a call with all room participants quickly.

The feature is supported for Lync Server deployments. Persistent Chat is not available for Lync Online deployments.

Persistent Chat interface: new “Call everyone in the room and start a meeting” button
Pic 3. Persistent Chat interface:
new “Call everyone in the room and start a meeting” button

Pressing the button for the phone icon will start a Lync meeting with all participants. Once opened, a link for joining the conference will be put into the chat room, allowing a member of the chat room who missed the original invitation to join the meeting later.

Group call from Persistent Chat Room and link for joining the conference
Pic 4. Group call from Persistent Chat Room and link for joining the conference

This link is different from the link that users leverage for regular meetings. Each time a user presses the call button, a new link will be generated.

The conference call generated from a pChat user honors that user’s conferencing policy allowances. For instance, if the user has a policy restriction that only allows them to invite 10 users to the meeting, but the room has 11 participants, the last person to join the call will see the message the “Meeting is full.”

Login Trace Files

Before the November Update, to troubleshoot login issues you needed to run a snooper and know the name of the folder where logs are placed, requiring a good deal of time to resolve issues, in particular if the problem is with a remote client. In the November Update, we added the ability to access sign-in logs with one click.

The feature works with both Lync Server and Lync Online deployments.

Sign-in Logs
Pic 5. Sign-in Logs

If there were no errors during the sign-in process, the logs will be empty. But if you had problems connecting to the server, the logs will show the errors and the steps Lync made in order to connect to the server and results for each step: Failed or Passed.

An end user can easily copy the logs and send them to their IT department, significantly simplifying troubleshooting of login issues.

Logs collected during sign-in (Lync shows login steps)
Pic 6. Logs collected during sign-in (Lync shows login steps)

For more information on this feature, please see http://www.office.com/redir/HA102752771.aspx.

New Recording Options

In this update, we also added a new capability which allows you to choose the resolution and the size of client-side recordings. With different resolution options, the size of the recording will change so recordings which may not need to be kept in full HD will be easier to share and download via a SharePoint site or through email.

The feature works with both Lync Server and Lync Online deployments.

Lync Recording Options
Pic 7.
Lync Recording Options

To learn more about this feature, please see http://www.office.com/redir/HA104143373.aspx.