Microsoft has made available a near-final Release Candidate (RC) version of its Office Communications Server (OCS) product, which is being renamed Lync Server.
Microsoft posted the Lync Server 2010 RC bits for download on September 8 (but the link didn't show up in the Download Center until September 13).
According to the release notes, the Lync Server 2010 RC includes both the Enterprise and Standard editions of the server, plus the Lync 2010 client. I blogged last week about Microsoft using the Lync branding for its Communicator client, but company officials refused to discuss the new name.
Update: On September 13, Microsoft officially acknowledged the new Lync brand name.
Microsoft has been testing Lync software since earlier this year with selected testers. Company officials have said the on-premises software version will be released before the end of this year, but the related cloud service -- which I'd guess will be called Lync Online -- won't be available until 2011.
Lync Server 2010, like its OCS 2007 predecessor, is an all-in-one instant-messaging, conferencing and presence server. Microsoft is billing the 2010 release as the first that will provide enterprise-voice capabilities (even though at least one Microsoft partner I know already is offering hosted enterprise-voice capabilities based on the 2007 bits). Lync Server 2010 will be a 64-bit-only product, and will include a new PowerShell-based foundation that will enable consistent administration across Lync, Exchange, Active Directory and other Microsoft server products, officials have said.