Microsoft to deliver new Windows 8 and Windows RT Lync app in late October

Microsoft to deliver new Windows 8 and Windows RT Lync app in late October

Summary: The product formerly known as Lync MX, a touch-centric, Windows Store app, will be available for Windows 8 and Windows RT PCs and tablets in late October.


Testers have been putting the new version of the Lync 2013 desktop client and Lync Server 2013 through their paces for a few months.


But there's another Lync product in the family -- an Lync app built specifically for Windows 8 and Windows RT. This is the product to which Microsoft officials previously referred as Lync 2013 MX. This touch-centric, Metrofied ("Windows Storized"?) version of Lync was not released as part of the Office 2013 Customer Preview in July.

But there's now word that this new Lync application will be available in the Windows Store for both Windows 8 and Windows RT as of late October. That's according to a September 20 post on the Lync Team Blog.

Lync is Microsoft's unified communications family of products. Lync offers enterprise instant messaging, VOIP and conferencing. In addition to the desktop client, the server and the new Windows 8/Windows RT Lync app, there also are versions of the Lync client for a variety of smartphone platforms and a browser-based Lync web app.

"The new Lync App ... will be compatible with both Lync Server 2010 and Lync Server 2013," explained the team in the latest blog post. It "is Lync re-imagined for the new Windows Experience."

The coming versions of Lync, as Microsoft officials have indicated, will include Skype federation. Lync 2013 users will be able to see presence, instant message or call anyone on Skype.

Microsoft officials have attempted to distinguish Lync and Skype by describing Lync as Microsoft's inside-the-firewall unified-communications solution, and Skype it's outside the firewall one.

The fact that this new Lync for Windows 8/Windows RT application will be available in the Windows Store in late October 2012 does not mean that Microsoft will release all of the Office 2013 products to manufacturing in October. Microsoft officials are continuing to decline to say when Office 2013 will be released to manufacturing or generally available. (The rumor is November for RTM and February 2013 for general availability/launch.)

Microsoft officials said recently that the final version of Office 2013 Home & Student for Windows RT would be available starting in early November.

Topics: Unified Comms, Collaboration, Microsoft, Networking, Telcos


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Microsoft Fragmentation Strikes Again

    Is there any commonality between Lync and Skype at all? Why don't they just unify the two into two manifestations of the same underlying architecture? But they can't, because they're not!
    • Profit Opportunity

      Since Microsoft hasn't done that, why don't you create a product that does what Lync and Skype can do but shares a common underlying architecture? It should be a big seller for you.
      • Re: Profit Opportunity

        Just about anything Asterisk-based, it seems, has been doing better than Lync.

        As for Skype, that's not something you put in the same sentence as "profit"...
        • Lync integration

          Can you be more specific on how Asterik systems are doing better than Lync?

        My mothers neighbour is working part time and averaging $9000 a month. I'm a single mum and just got my first paycheck for $6546! I still can't believe it. I tried it out cause I got really desperate and now I couldn't be happier. Heres what I do, >>> Green32.comREAD MORE
      • Microsoft Lync Mobile Solution w/ Damaka's Xavy

        Well, to be fare to ldo17, the Skype acquisition was made for two reasons (IMHO):

        1.) To keep Google from getting the user base.
        2.) To integrate with Lync and provide a mobile solution.

        Item one is politics and behind the scenes, this is why the price was high for the acquisition.

        Item two was the public message during the acquisition, and what I believe Steve Ballmer really believed (or was told) could be done.

        But as ldo17, these are two completely different architectures.

        One of Microsoft's most recently announced partners should tell you where they are headed with Lync.

        Press Release with Demo Video on iPad:
    • I don't think you know anything except slamming Microsoft at every

      opportunity. Skype is different from Lync eventhough both of them have similar features. Lync is aimed for businesses and enterprises and evolved from Microsoft Communications Server. Skype on the other hand IM to VOIP solution. They both are different products and have some similar features because they both are aimed at communications management with different types of audience in mind. If you see Microsoft is integrating their live messenger into Skype and made users to Facebook Message their friends from Skype. This is aimed at general public. OTOH, Lync is a client to operate on communication server/office 365 for the enterprises/businesses to provide seemless communication within their premise. I would be surprised if Microsoft is not going to integrate their recent purchase of yammer within Lync.

      Ram U
      • Re: I don't think you know anything except slamming Microsoft at every...

        Being separate products targeted at slightly different markets is one thing, being separate walled gardens without interoperability between them is quite another.
        • Skype Federation

          "being separate walled gardens without interoperability between them is quite another."

          If you are referring to interoperability of Lync and Skype, it will be fixed with Lync 2013/Lync Server 2013 and the next release of Office 365/Lync Online, since all will support Skype Federation.

          • “it will be fixed with Lync 2013/Lync Server 2013 and the next release”

            Vapourware, vapourware, all is vapourware. Why should people buy these products based on their capabilities NOW? Customers can’t solve their business problems with vapourware.
          • Lync Preview

            You can run the Lync 2013 / Lync Server Preview version now if you are in a hurry of Skype federation. Click the link I posted before for more details...
          • pointless

            your arguments are pointless.
    • That will take some time

      Skype, Lync and even Messenger all run on totally different architectures.

      I imagine the three will merge though. For now it's Lync for business and Skype/Messenger for consumers. With some Skype cross-over in business. I imagine Messenger will be phased out for sure.

      There's also a Skype Metro app coming too.
    • Microsoft bashing by people who don't understand software development

      I find it sad how some such as ldo17 are so preoccupied with systematic Microsoft bashing that they lack any value add in this conversation.

      - Microsoft's acquisition of Skype is recent (Skype became a division of Microsoft a bit less than a year ago)
      - Skype was (and still to a large extent is) a P2P technology primarly aimed at the consumer market
      - Lync has always been a client-server technology primarily aimed at the enterprise market
      - Skype, for better or worse, has always been using proprietary/non standard approaches for virtually everything (authentication, signaling, media...)
      - Lync has been using standard based approaches for virtually everything and has also published its client-server protocol extensions
      - For people to ask if there are any commonality between the two infrastructures is akin to asking whether there is commonality between a nice private house and the Empire State Building... in short there are massive differences resulting from the different functions and histories - only people with no understanding of software whatsoever could miss this, like ldo17 does
      - Without having a crystal ball, it's fairly obvious that Microsoft has lots of reasons to get the 2 solutions to converge technically, so they can communicate (which is indeed one of the capabilities announced in the upcoming Lync 2013 release - one year or so to introduce that federation after the acquisition seems very reasonable timeline-wise for people who understand enterprise grade software)
      - But they have no interest whatsoever in breaking either Skype or Lync, so this is not about bastardizing either dumbling and hastily; if there is technology convergence (and I believe there will be soon) it is a) a lot of difficult work and b) something that cannot impact end users negatively at all
      - I predict that Skype will progressively evolve to adopt more (standards based) Lync technology, as well as becoming more client-server; meanwhile, Lync might onboard some of the codecs of Skype and benefit from Skype's larger economies of scale to be present on even more platforms. Convergence of core stacks will eventually enable development of a single core engine for platforms such as iOS and Android, where today Microsoft at large has to develop 2 complete stacks.

      To me, this all makes sense - technical and business sense and most importantly sense for the customer. Being able to use Lync in the Enterprise and Skype for virtually every consumer unlocks very rich B2C scenarios, much preferable to using the outdated, insecure and costly PSTN. It's hard to understand the gratuitous bashing in this case.
  • Skype

    > Lync offers enterprise instant messaging, VOIP and conferencing.

    Gee that's funny. That's exactly what Skype offers. I don't get it; there is a Skype-Enterprise offering, which could easily be extended, and have a Metro interface built for it. I don't get why Lync is needed; Skype is encrypted, why would any business need something else?

    (That's not a rhetorical question by the way; quite likely that Lync does offer something to big enterprises that Skype doesn't, I just don't yet understand what it is after reading the article.)
    Han CNX
    • Lync vs SharePoint

      One of the most important feature of Lync is how it integrates with products and services like Sharepoint, Office and Exchange and AD, something Skype isn't capable of.
    • Lync vs Skype

      This was suppose to be the right subject. Is there any plans to bring back the option to edit posts?
      • I hate it when that happens, too

        Still I appreciated the explanation you posted, thank you!
        Han CNX
  • What about the 99% of us without touch monitors???

    Again MS misses the point that almost all of the current users do NOT have touch monitors nor will they for 2-3 years, at least I will not be running out to buy a new monitor anytime soon.
    • Then you use your mouse.

      @eye4bear - It cracks me up that people don't get that Windows 8 was designed for BOTH touch and non-touch. If you don't have a touch device, use your mouse. Seems like people get so caught up in the FUD that bloggers spew that they forget their own common sense. Let me repeat, any device that is using Windows 8 that is non-touchscreen based, you can use your mouse instead of your fingers. All MS Windows products support a mouse and keyboard. GAWG! You'd think that would be something unnecessary to say to "so-called" techies.