Today, with our customers and partners in New York City, we are celebrating the launch of Microsoft Lync -- the next generation of Office Communications Server.  

Earlier this year, Exchange 2010, SharePoint 2010 and Office 2010 launched, delivering the best productivity experience across the PC, phone and browser. Together, these products provide the productivity backbone of modern businesses and help address the generational shifts impacting organizations of all sizes – shifts like the advent of the cloud, information overload, globalization and the consumerization of IT. 

Microsoft Lync 2010 now delivers on our vision to transform communications by connecting people in new ways. Lync integrates enterprise voice, instant messaging and web, audio and video conferencing into a connected single communications experience.

If you’re not yet familiar with Lync, let me share with you some of my favorite new features:

  1. Unified experience. Go from an instant message, to a voice call, to a video call, to a meeting, to a shared whiteboard session – all within the same Lync 2010 experience.
  2. One-click web conference.  Use Outlook to set up a web conference with one-click of the mouse.
  3. Connect with family. While you’re travelling, use Lync to start a high-definition voice and video conversation with any Windows Live Messenger user around the world.
  4. Hush that annoying meeting participant.   When someone has poor audio on a conference call or lots of background noise, Lync will identify which phone to mute to improve quality – and productivity.
  5. Device switching. Switch between your head-set and phone in the middle of a call with device switching.  Use that same head-set to make a phone call using WiFi on an airplane.

 

Microsoft Lync
Lync puts people at the center of communications
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For IT, the benefits are equally powerful, as Lync provides a highly secure and reliable system that works with existing tools and systems for easier management, lower cost of ownership, smoother migration, and offers greater deployment options.

Lync also delivers amazing ROI and productivity gains.  Companies like Estee Lauder, France Telecom, Nikon and Orange are already experiencing the benefits of Microsoft’s communications platform. And Microsoft recently commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct a Total Economic Impact report that found that based on a composite organization Lync 2010 offers a 337% three year-risk-adjusted ROI, with a payback period of 12 months..

We are also witnessing tremendous partner enthusiasm and commitment to Lync.  Today our partner network, which includes companies like Polycom, HP and Logitech, is announcing 70 new devices optimized for Lync.  And with Lync’s commitment to open standards and extensive interoperability across a wide variety of platforms we expect Lync-based solutions will be developed across a wide spectrum of PCs, browsers and mobile devices in 2011 and beyond.

We are also excited to announce Lync Online will be available in 2011 with the general availability of Office 365. Lync Online will delight customers who want to move to the cloud to take advantage of Microsoft’s broader Office365 service, and we expect online voice capabilities will be available in 2011.

So while today we celebrate a culmination of sorts, it is clearly also just the beginning of a new generation of communications.

Posted by Kirk Koenigsbauer
Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Office Division