Microsoft has just released their long-awaited Lync mobile client for Windows Phone. It’s available for download in the marketplace. A version for iPhone, Android and Symbian will be available in the next days as well. Even a separate iPad Lync client is supposed to be released soon.
Lync rapidly taking over the traditional communication solutions
Lync users will understand how wonderful this news is, because Lync is rapidly becoming the new business unified messaging platform. Millions of voice lines have been replaced by Lync since its launch about a year ago. Only mobile extensions were missing. Microsoft promised months ago to deliver mobile clients for its Lync unified communications product before the end of calendar year of 2011 and its clear they will support more than only Windows Phone .
When you deploy the Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Mobility Service, users can use supported iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Phone, or Nokia mobile devices to perform such activities as sending and receiving instant messages, viewing contacts, and viewing presence.
Lync client seems promising
The application description is quite appealing: Lync 2010 for Windows Phone extends the power of Lync to your mobile device – including rich presence, instant messaging, audio conferencing, and calling features from a single, easy-to-use interface.
- View colleagues’ availability in real-time and select the best way to communicate – initiating an instant message (IM), email, or a phone call.
- Connect to Lync conference calls with a single touch, without requiring long numeric passcodes or conference numbers.
- Make and receive calls using your Enterprise Voice (Lync ID) number only, so you can connect with others using a single, consistent identity.
- Lync 2010 for Windows Phone provides transport layer security (TLS) and perimeter/internal network protection without requiring a VPN, so your communication experience is safer no matter where you are or what network you’re using.
Microsoft seems to care about Apple users
Microsoft has released its Lync client for Mac in September 2011. If you don’t manage to get it working have a look at one of our previous posts here. It’s clear Microsoft wants to please Mac users also. Combined with the powerful Office 2011 for Mac, in fact a way better version than Office 2010 for Windows, it’s rather easy to integrate Mac users with the Microsoft based office environment. That’s how Microsoft seems to support the “Bring your own device” trend [PDF].
Lync the unified communications platform
Lync is Microsoft’s successor to Office Communications Server. Lync is Microsoft’s unified communications platform that the company launched a year ago. Lync provides enterprise instant-messaging, VOIP and conferencing. There are both server and online based versions of Lync available. Besides, it’s part of Microsoft® Office 365, their new secure anywhere access to
professional email, shared calendars, IM, video conferencing, and document collaboration. It’s a packaged combination of Office, Exchange, Sharepoint, Lync and Office web apps.
Microsoft seems to position Lync complementary to Skype, its more consumer-focused VOIP service. They’ve said the plan is to integrate the two offerings at some point, although Microsoft’s Skype acquisition is still in its early days.
Some of the Lync main features include:
- Get easy access to presence, instant messaging, voice, and audio, video, and Web conferencing—all from the new Microsoft Lync 2010 client.
- Use one set of contacts across Lync 2010 and Office applications.
- Communicate with context from within the applications you use most, including Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft SharePoint.
- Deliver access to presence, instant messaging, and other capabilities for workers on the go via PCs, browsers, and mobile phones.
Connect and Collaborate
- Find the right people, make connections, and communicate more effectively with new rich presence features including pictures and location.
- Leverage internal expertise more effectively with Microsoft SharePoint-based Skill Search.
Simple, Essential, Reliable Conferencing
- Collaborate more effectively with a built-in desktop and application sharing, PowerPoint upload, and rich white boarding, including the ability to copy and paste images and other content.
- Schedule and join meetings with a single click in Microsoft Outlook or the meeting reminder.
- Place attendees in a virtual lobby for greater security and control over who can attend.
Complete Enterprise Voice Features
- Delight your users with the features they need, a wide range of IP and USB devices, and the ability to work at the office, at home, or on the road.
We are curious about your opinion. Are you using Lync? What do you use it most for? What is the best feature for you? Do you like the Windows Phone client? Feel free to leave your opinion below.