Microsoft's next-generation VOIP/conferencing client to debut as Lync?

Summary:Lync looks to be the new name of Microsoft's next version of the Communicator client for Office Communications Server 14, Microsoft’s all-in-one instant messaging/VOIP/conferencing product.

What do you get when you combine Microsoft Live Meeting and ? MicrCommunicatorosoft Lync?

Lync looks to be the new name of Microsoft's next version of the Communicator client for Office Communications Server 14, Microsoft’s all-in-one instant messaging/VOIP/conferencing product.

(I am hedging a bit here, as Microsoft officials won't confirm anything about Lync. “We have nothing to announce today, but please stay tuned for news about Microsoft Communications Server ’14,'" said a Microsoft spokesperson.)

A reader pointed me to a blog mentioning something called Microsoft Lync (a site which I believe may have been created by Microsoft Gold reseller partner Glueck & Kanja Consulting AG). (Update: A representative with Glueck & Kanja denied that company had any connection to the blog post to which I pointed.)

From the description there:

"Extend the capabilities and familiarity of Microsoft Office to connect with partners and colleagues around the world. Leverage your existing infrastructure to deliver audio, video, and Web conferencing, instant messaging and presence, and enterprise voice, all accessible directly from Office Outlook and the unified communications (UC) interface called Office Communicator/Lync."

According to the text on the blog, "(D)evelopers can embed Lync elements in their applications and provide access to all UC-enabled services from any phone."

On Microsoft's Download site, there are a couple of mentions of "Lync," as well. One of these is for something called "Lync 2010 Attendee," which sounds like a renamed version of the Live Meeting conferencing software.

"Microsoft Lync 2010 Attendee is a conferencing client that allows users without Microsoft Lync 2010 installed, to participate in online meetings. A user with an administrator account on the computer can install Lync 2010 Attendee so that users of the computer can join Microsoft Lync Server 2010-hosted meeting."

Microsoft has shared bits and pieces of what's coming with its next-generation Office Communications Server (OCS) Wave 14 product. That product is currently in private testing and is expected to be released in December 2010, most likely as OCS 2010.

Microsoft officials said earlier this year that Live Meeting, Microsoft’s audio/video conferencing product, is being rolled into the client for OCS. (There also will be a Silverlight-based Web client for OCS 14 for those who don’t have Communicator installed.)

Microsoft officials also have said that OCS 14 will be able to federate with Windows Live Messenger Wave 4, in terms of both audio and video. (Microsoft still hasn't shared publicly whether the product will federate with other instant-messaging products from third-party vendors, but it’s sounding unlikely that it will federate completely audio/video-wise with anything but Live Messenger.)

Microsoft execs said as of this summer that 74,000 Microsoft users were currently running OCS and were no longer connected to a PBX system.

Topics: Collaboration, Enterprise Software, Microsoft


Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network. Got a tip? Se... Full Bio

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