Lync 2013 Conferencing v/s Cisco Webex

Favad Qaisar 15 February 2013 5

In this time of technology, people of corporate and business world prefer their meetings and conferences online  instead of getting together at one place. Why? It saves them a lot of time and a lot of money. With time, web based conferencing services are getting better and reliable. These days among the many web-based conferencing services available, the two considered to be top are Lync Conferencing and Cisco WebEx.

War between Lync and Cisco is on for quite some time now. Both Lync & Webex, more or less provides the same functionalities ranging from one-on-one desktop screen sharing to group video chats to large-scale presentations such as Webinars or “virtual conferences”,  but each have a different style and approach.

Lets see how Lync 2013 has improved from its earlier version and what features it contains which are better than those in WebEx.

Microsoft enhanced its portfolio with a high peak by introducing Skype (pretty famous free communication application) as a part of Lync 2013. Lync was in tight integration with Windows Live Messenger earlier but now that place has been taken over by Skype. With its help Lync now provides presence, IM and voice capabilities. Lync 2013 has come up with very improved video features, by including face detection and smart framing. Conference video pixels have shoot up to HD quality. Not only this, it provides four different meeting layouts.

  1. Gallery View:  All parties are shown whether in video or picture form
  2. Speaker View: Only the presenter and its content is shown
  3. Presentation View: Only meeting content is made visible
  4. Compact View: Just the sound and control buttons

Video pinning and video spotlight features are very useful features added to the list. A very intelligent feature added is that when a user is about to share, Lync gives him a presenting presence status and blocks all incoming traffic. This way user is not interrupted. The Lync 2013 now supports audio and video in a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) environment

WebEx was the one ruling the market till Lync 2013 showed up with its blings. Now people are more turned towards Lync, because even though WebEx is top notch but as we know – it all comes down to feature verses price combination, which in this case is comparatively expensive for smaller companies with limited staff. Whereas Lync offers a more reasonable and affordable price structure.

Hence, considering the new features provided in Lync 2013 within a good price package, Lync takes the first place on our score board.

Favad Qaisar (51 Posts)

I am a Unified Communications Engineer. Over the last 3 years, I have been working dedicatedly on OCS/LYNC and Exchange 2007/2010. I was responsible for getting my Company Microsoft’s Unified Communication Voice Certified Partner status. Occasionally, I like to share my experiences on the latest developments in the Unified Communications industry.


  1. alanbrooks 19 March 2013 at 6:50 pm - Reply

    MSFT biased website = worthless review. I’ve used both products, both are valuable based on user need and experience. WebEx has reliability, ease of use and great features. Lync has a history of rip and replace updgrades, performance issues on Web and Audio conferencing, and always promises that next new feature or gadget to keep us thinking it will improve. But the IM/Presence works great!

  2. Favad Qaisar 20 March 2013 at 3:35 pm - Reply

    I wouldn’t really call it biased. Both have their own advantage. The beauty with which Lync integrates with Exchange (Most Popular Email Platform), Web Ex or any other cannot even match it. VoiceMail and Chat History for Example. I feel Web Ex has pretty less to offer in terms of features but yes its stable.

  3. RJ 3 April 2013 at 1:20 pm - Reply

    Hi gents, I’m a Product Manager in Unified Comms and I work with/developed/deployed both technologies. However I was surprised that a lot of key differentiators are missing in this article, I do agree price point is one indicator, but not the only one. Both have great pros and cons, however you need to be objective and clear when you are stating the use for each:

    1) Mobility, WebEx has a fantastic user interface, across, iOS, Android and even Blackberry, to use across devices, we use both in our organisation and mobility with WebEx wins hands down. Lync’s mobile app has been woefully poor, for such a large organisation, frankly hard to understand why? so for our mobile workers WebEx is a dream.

    2) Federation when inviting participants from outside of an organisation, this is again something that that is not mentioned at all, as in reality when you have a web/video conf tool audio is part and parcel of this. So have to assume you are referring to Lync voice also as part of any deployment, which radically alters the price point, not to mention most organizations existing IPT deployments. Don’t misunderstand, federations between organisations with Lync 2013 will become easier, however the point is collaboration needs to be agnostic, WebEx again I find just works.

    3) To address the integration point of WebEx vs Lync and exchange, the only thing I would say here is to view this not as a techy but as an end user. What is the experience to someone who users Outlook or Exchange and sees an icon that allows them to add web session capability? do you think this varies because there is no AD integration? not really, this is perception.

    Just as a final point as I don’t want to seem to favor WebEx, the beauty of Lync is in its IM and Presence capability, this again just works and has been refined, WebEx has Jabber however the experience of Lync is very slick.

    Over time I believe organizations will favor the tool that works best for them, there may not be a one size fits all.

  4. Raymond Keith 3 June 2013 at 7:57 pm - Reply

    Favad, WebEx does integrate with Exchange. I use it daily. For a pretty recent article, you don’t seem to have done all of your research.

    You mention that Lync surpasses WebEx in terms of features however i’d have to disagree. Both solutions provide you with the basic/common features such as desktop share, chat, q&a, streaming video, polling etc. A few features WebEx has that I enjoy are e-commerce, site branding and url customization. The ability to hire production services is also AMAZING. But lets dig a little deeper.

    Lync is extremely limited when it comes to sharing on devices other than Windows 8 desktops. Microsoft doesnt yet provide exec video desktops, video room systems, video gateways or telepresence systems. Lync’s multi-party video solution on works on desktops. MIssing from Lync are common features such as dual presentation, multicasting and server-side recording to name a few. Lync also uses a whopping 600% more bandwidth than its competitors.

    Its clear I am a WebEx user and love it. Although WebEx is more expensive, I don’t mind paying a little more to know I have a secure (on the cloud) and reliable solution.

  5. Allan Roger 10 January 2014 at 6:18 am - Reply

    Microsoft Lynch is similar to WebEx. Another alternative to Lynch is RHUB web conferencing appliances which help conducting sales presentations, webinars, etc.

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