Microsoft’s Lync 2013 customer preview has been released very recently and is available for download. The featured highlights of this most recent release of Lync server are Multi-party HD video, support for H.264 SVC, Skype federation, voice/video over Lync web app and the most important and awaited of all Lync mobile voIP. Other important noted features that have been added include the ability to communicate directly from within Office, 1080 peer to peer multiparty video, availability of Archiving and Monitoring Server Roles on the front end, and a GUI synchronized with Windows 8 UI’s.
An enhanced video quality enhances your online meeting experience. The video gallery has been designed in a way to support upto 5 simultaneous video windows and not only this but it also associates names with faces. Since they have provided support for SVC, HD video conferencing is possible around a wide range of devices and on very different platforms.
Microsoft’s focus in Lync 2013 has been on improving the video conferencing and presentations. For this purpose they have provided a whole new set of presenter controls. These controls help in improving the interactive experience of the users present in the conference and that too without causing any distractions to the presenter infact these tools have also improved the presenter’s control over the content. Talking about the aesthetic changes that have been made in this version, it is important to note here that Microsoft has tried to immerse and “blend in” Lync 2013 in the Windows 8 screen design standards and architecture.
Lync web apps has also been improved which now provides multiparty HD video, voice over IP (VoIP), instant messaging, and desktop, application, and PowerPoint sharing in a web browser. Another important feature in this regard which was highly demanded by the users of Lync was voIP over mobile devices on all the platforms (Windows, iOS and Android), this can easily be regarded as the most important feature of Lync 2013. Now one can Send an IM, make a Lync call, or even join a Lync Meeting with just one touch and that too without any network carrier costs.
Obvious Microsoft didn’t spend $8.5 billion to top the news headlines; they have provided skype federation in Lync 2013 which is of huge importance. Currently they have announced support for Lync Presence, IM, Peer-to-Peer Voice capability but no mention of video support has been heard of yet. By connecting Lync to skype users (Skype federation), Microsoft has opened up new doors for communication for enterprises that are searching for innovative and diversified opportunities for new customer acquirement, customer retention, and business-to-consumer communications.