As Lync continues to experience incredible momentum in the market, our partner ecosystem is growing with us. Today, I want to share some updates to the Lync Qualified IP Phone front and point out some new resources available to support the Lync community to help Lync customers select the right phones for their deployments.

First of all, we have updated the IP Phone page on TechNet to clearly indicate what firmware has been qualified against a particular product.  Many times an OEM will update their product with firmware that has new features or fixes and if this is a major update they need to be re-tested and qualified on Lync. For this reason, we have updated the TechNet table to include, in addition to the qualified product, the qualified firmware and the respective Lync version (Lync 2010, 2013, Online) that the firmware has been tested against.  Included in this update is also an extensive table that details the core and extended scenarios tested with each endpoint.  We will continue to update this information table as more devices become qualified.

Second, we’ve updated the Lync support lifecycle page specifically for the Lync Phone Edition firmware and are happy to announce that we have extended the support lifetime for Lync Phone Edition. The new support lifetime will have mainstream and extended support dates of 2018 and 2023 respectively, which is the same as Lync 2013.   Our intention has always been to provide support for Lync Phone Edition consistent with support for Lync 2013. The previously shorter support lifecycle was an unintended side effect of the simplified naming of Lync Phone Edition which no longer bears a year marker.  Any future extensions to support lifecycle for Lync Phone Edition will be posted when at major releases of Lync Client and Server software.

We look forward to continuing the lifecycle of both Lync Phone Edition phones and qualified third party IP phones not just through Lync 2013 but into future releases as well.  The testing that we use to qualify IP phones is extensive and rigorous – all designed to ensure that Lync customers not only have a great experience with basic phone operations but that it functions with all the various Lync calling scenarios, topologies and manageability requirements.  For the health of your Lync deployment, please ensure that all of your endpoints are qualified, and for IP Phones in particular, that they are running firmware that we have tested and qualified.

Thanks everyone!

Jamie Stark, Senior Product Manager, Lync