Microsoft is ready to launch its long-awaited Lync mobile clients as of next week, company officials apparently told some of its partners on December 9.
Alessandro Zattoni, an Information Technology and Services professional in Italy, tweeted on December 9 that the Lync mobile client for Windows Phone will be available in the marketplace on December 12. He said (also on Twitter) that he learned this information at a partner-only Lync event.
(The fact that a representative with Microsoft's Lync Server technical reference hub, aka @DrRez, retweeted Zattoni makes me think his information is legitimate.)
Microsoft officials have been saying for months that the company planned to deliver mobile clients for its Lync unified communications product before the end of calendar 2011. Microsoft officials said the Lync clients would be available for Windows Phone, iPhone, Android phones and Symbian phones. Earlier this month, further validation that the Lync mobile clients were on track to launch in December was noted by WPCentral. On December 8, WPCentral reported that the Windows Phone Lync client was visible to some in the marketplace, but not able to be downloaded yet.
It appears the new Lync client also is going to be optimized for the iPad, not just for smartphones. Microsoft released to manufacturing its Lync client for the Mac in September 2011.
Microsoft posted to its Download Center earlier this month new mobility- service bits that add Lync Server 2010 functionality -- instant messaging, presence, management of contacts and groups, single-click conference-join and single-number reach -- for certain supported devices.
Those devices, according to information on the Download site, include select iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Phone, and Nokia mobile devices.
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 also is a Microsoft-hosted version of Lync that's available as a standalone service and part of Office 365 that is known as Lync Online.
Microsoft officials have been positioning Lync as a complement to Skype, its more consumer-focused VOIP service. They've said the plan is to integrate the two offerings at some point.
I've asked officials with the Lync team whether they'll confirm the December 12 date or share more information on features. No word back yet. No comment from the Softies, a spokesperson said.
Update No. 1: If you want to see the differences in functionality between the various Lync mobile clients, Sebastiaan Poels, a consultant with Nobel in the Netherlands, has posted a handy chart that compares the features supported in the various Lync Mobile clients: Windows Phone 7.5, Nokia Symbian 3, iPhone, iPad, and Android (2.3 and above). (Thanks to @giciorek for the tip.)