Lync 2013 Recent News and Releases

There has been lots of news and announcements from the last few weeks during the Lync Conference. I think people are really getting a sense of where this is all going now and Microsoft has answered some lingering questions.

With that there are loads of blog posts, announcements, new releases and general chatter going on. Here are the best resources and links to all the information I could find. Most of the wording below has been taken from the respective links shown so please make sure to check them out if you haven't already.

Tony Bates re-humanizing communications

Keynote video’s

http://www.lyncconf.com/media.aspx

Tony’s blog post on Key announcements

http://blogs.technet.com/b/microsoft_blog/archive/2013/02/19/re-humanizing-communications-from-the-living-room-to-the-boardroom.aspx

Lync 2013 Mobile

From Tony’s blog post - Mobile app availability. Lync 2013 mobile apps for Windows Phone 8 and iOS will be available in early March, with Android coming roughly a month later. We’ve added VoIP and video over IP to all of the apps, and added the ability for iPad users to view shared desktop and application content in a Lync meeting. We’ve built these apps with real users’ needs in mind—and have even designed in features that preserve mobile battery life.

See the keynote media at these points (thanks Curtis)

  • Windows 8 Mobile: 31:43 (min:sec)
  • Android: 36:51 (min:sec)
  • iPhone: 38:52 (min:sec)
  • iPad: 40:40 (min:sec)

Curtis Johnstone does a nice job capturing a lot of the new mobile features  in his blog post also:

http://blog.insidelync.com/2013/02/new-lync-2013-mobile-clients-voip-have-arrived/

Lync Room System

From the Lync Team blog: Lync Room System is a meeting room solution consisting of integrated hardware and software delivered by our partners and optimized to join Lync meetings. With Lync Room System you can join an online meeting with one touch and be ready to collaborate with remote attendees in seconds. It has all the equipment you need for great meetings:

1. High definition touch displays (1080p) for showing video and enabling collaboration. Lync Room Systems are available with 1 or 2 front of room touch displays depending on your room size

2. High definition video camera for capturing the room in full 1080p resolution

3. Wideband audio for clear sound from the room and to the room

4. Table-top touch meeting console to enable the meeting controller to manage the meeting without distracting the other attendees

It’s all brought together by the Lync Room System Edition software, which is a full Lync client optimized to bring the immersive meeting experience to a meeting room setting. It makes joining meetings as easy as on your PC and breaks down the barrier between in-room and remote attendees. Being able to see content and high definition video side by side makes remote collaboration more effective.

http://blogs.technet.com/b/lync/archive/2013/02/19/the-lync-room-system-lrs.aspx

LRS partner announcements:

http://www.crestron.com/about/press_room/press_releases/show_release.asp?press_release_id=1801

http://www.smarttech.com/Home+Page/Solutions/Business+Solutions/SMART+room+systems?utm_source=redirect&utm_medium=redirect&utm_campaign=SMARTRoom

http://www.bloomberg.com/article/2013-02-19/aHAUzerPVk6U.html

Lync Server 2013 Web App

Although this isn't really new at the conference it was highlighted during the keynote and in every demo I have done has been seen as a major improvement:

http://blogs.technet.com/b/nexthop/archive/2013/01/14/lync-2013-the-new-lync-web-app.aspx

Here is a nice overview and some great screenshots of the Lync Server 2013 Web App from the UK Premier Team:

http://blogs.technet.com/b/mspremuk/archive/2012/12/09/lync-server-2013-the-new-lync-web-app.aspx

Skype-Lync integration

Just a ton of items around what's coming here.

From Tony’s blog post - Lync and Skype connectivity. We’re proud to announce Lync-Skype connectivity for presence, IM and voice will be available to all Lync users by June. This move will begin to enable what we call B2X. B2X places the focus of business communication on enabling human interactions. B2X puts people first and looks at communications in a unified way, not as disparate technology silos focused on one task or protocol.

Follow up interview with BJ Haberkorn from the Lync Product Marketing. BJ answers a lot of great questions and really dissolves a lot of myths in the interview. Its worth a read:

http://redmondmag.com/articles/2013/02/22/lync-2013-interview.aspx

The Lync team just added this new info:

http://blogs.technet.com/b/lync/archive/2013/02/28/lync-skype-connectivity-arriving-by-june-2013.aspx

General media 

I liked this story below the best, not only because of the story but the comments by Ross Camp from Cisco and the follow up comment by a reader. See below:

http://www.zdnet.com/microsoft-to-begin-connecting-skype-and-lync-by-june-2013-7000011488/

Ross Camp trolling for some Cisco love it seems:

Considering All the Options

Thanks for your insightful story. Whether it’s cloud, voice and video quality and reliability, or support, Cisco would heavily encourage your readers to consider a variety of factors when choosing collaboration solutions and vendors. We think Microsoft is playing catch up in these areas. Yesterday, Cisco executives Rowan Trollope, Carl Wiese and Richard McLeod posted some frank blogs on this topic and we're excited about the conversation that's progressing. We’d welcome your readers to join the discussion. The blogs can be found at http://blogs.cisco.com/. Regards, Ross Camp, Director, Corporate Communications, Cisco

Angry readers comment back:

Really?!

Are you serious? As a Cisco UC customer (using UCM 7.1.5 and Presence 8.6), I can tell you that I have very mixed reactions to Cisco's UC experience. On the phone and voice side, yes, Cisco is king of VoIP. I love using UCM and their phones. However, Cisco's IM/Audio/Video products are a joke, and WebEx is great but expensive. I absolutely HATE using Cisco Jabber... even more than I hate Skype. Lync, on the other hand, is what Skype and Jabber wish they could be in terms of performance and quality, and so much simpler with better integration into Office. I'm STILL waiting on proper integration of Jabber and Office 2010.
I've been dying to move away from Presence/WebEx to Lync on a permanent basis.

General Partner Announcements

Partner

Type

Press Link

Acme Packet

Press release

20-Feb

Acme Packet Expands Capabilities for Microsoft

http://news.acmepacket.com/articles/279222/acme-packet-expands-capabilities-for-microsoft/

AudioCodes

Press releases 18-Feb

AudioCodes Announces Availability of 400HD IP Phones for Microsoft Lync

http://www.audiocodes.com/press-releases/audiocodes-announces-availability-of-400hd-ip-phones-for-microsoft-lync

AudioCodes

Press releases 11-Feb

AudioCodes Reports Over 70 Partners Joined One Voice for Microsoft Lync Program

http://www.audiocodes.com/press-releases/audiocodes-reports-over-70-partners-joined-one-voice-for-microsoft-lync-program

Crestron

Press release

19-Feb

Crestron Takes Microsoft® Lync® to the Conference Room

http://www.crestron.com/about/press_room/press_releases/show_release.asp?press_release_id=1801

Jabra

Press release

19-Feb

When on the move - Jabra Motion follows

http://www.jabra.com/CP/US/PressReleasesArchive/2013/Press%20Release%2019-02-2013

LifeSize

Press release

19-Feb

LifeSize Announces Microsoft Lync Room System

http://www.lifesize.com/en/company/news/press-releases/2013/20130219-lrs-announcement

LifeSize

Press release

19-Feb

LifeSize Delivers Industry-Leading Multiparty Calling Experience Through Its Enhanced Software-Based Bridge

http://www.lifesize.com/en/company/news/press-releases/2013/20130219-uvc-multipoint-enterprise

Logitech

Press release

13-Feb

Logitech Takes Desktop Video to the Next Level with Its Most Advanced Webcam for Business

http://news.logitech.com/press-release/logitech-business/logitech-takes-desktop-video-next-level-its-most-advanced-webcam-bus

Logitech

Press release

19-Feb

Logitech Delivers Best-in-Class Desktop Video and Audio For Microsoft Lync 2013

http://news.logitech.com/press-release/logitech-delivers-best-class-desktop-video-and-audio-microsoft-lync-2013

NetSocket

Press release

19-Feb

NetSocket CEM and Microsoft Lync Solutions Assure Exceptional Enterprise-Class Unified Communications

http://www.netsocket.com/pages/posts/netsocket-cem-and-microsoft-lync-solutions-assure-exceptional-enterprise-class-unified-communications-130.php

Plantronics

Press release

19-Feb

Plantronics Goes Beyond Audio and Delivers Contextual Intelligence through a Portfolio of Products for Unified Communications

http://press.plantronics.com/us/plantronics-goes-beyond-audio-and-delivers-contextual-intelligence/

Polycom

Press release

19-Feb

Polycom Expands Microsoft® Lync™-Enabled Portfolio with New Dedicated Room System for Lync 2013, a Breakthrough Content-Sharing Application and Additional Qualified Solutions

http://www.polycom.com/company/news/press-releases/2013/20130219_3.html

Sennheiser

Press pre-release announcement

17-Feb

Sennheiser unveils two newly Optimized for Microsoft Lync high-end Bluetooth and wired headsets at Microsoft Lync Conference

Email Morten Siglev for a copy of this pre-release and more information

Snom

Blog: snom Channel Americas

19-Feb

snom News: snom UC Edition Portfolio of Desktop Phones Now Qualified for Microsoft Lync Server 2013

http://www.snomchannel.com/voip-blog/snom-news-snom-uc-edition-portfolio-of-desktop-phones-now-qualified-for-microsoft-lync-server-2013/

Spectralink

Press release

20-Feb

Spectralink Celebrates Independence and Moves Back to its Roots

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/spectralink-celebrates-independence-moves-back-150000904.html

Spectralink

Press release

21-Feb

Revived Spectralink seeks home in Boulder http://www.bcbr.com/article/20130221/NEWS/130229989

Westcon Convergence

Press release

19-Feb

Westcon Group Achieves Microsoft Gold Communications Competency in EMEA

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/westcon-group-achieves-microsoft-gold-communications-competency-in-emea-2013-02-19

Roadmap for the next 18 months

From Tony’s blog post - Microsoft is also committing to additional product delivery in the next 18 months:

  • Lync online/server updates. Lync Online updates will be delivered quarterly to enable rapid customer adoption, and we will release a new Lync server version in Q2 of 2014.
  • Enterprise voice in the cloud. Add enterprise voice support to Lync Online/Office 365.
  • Lync meetings. Add structured meeting support to Lync Online and the next version of Lync Server enabling remaining Live Meeting customers to fully transition to Lync.
  • Video connectivity and interoperability. Make rich video more pervasive and accessible by adding video to Skype + Lync connectivity and native interoperability between Lync and 3rd party VTCs.

New tools just released for Lync Server 2013

Lync Server 2013 Resource tool kit

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=36821&WT.mc_id=rss_office_allproducts&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Lync Server 2013 Planning tool

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=36823&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+MicrosoftDownloadCenter+%28Microsoft+Download+Center%29#tm

Lync Server CU1

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=36820#system-requirements

Office 2013 Visio stencil

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=35772

Lync 2013 Stress and performance tools

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=36819

Hopefully this has been a helpful list of items for everyone.

VoIPNorm

5 comments:

  1. Awesome news - a ton of it, thank you! I was really excited to see the development on the Lync Room System...
    The supportability factor is huge win. Streamlines what is currently an entirely separate IT operational domain. Current videoconferencing admin requires devoted gatekeepers/sip registrars - separate from the telephony dial plan. By incorporating rooms systems into the suite of Lync clients, Microsoft offers the ability to blend the administration/support of ALL A/V experiences. End user experience improvement? Bonus, but what I care about - IT administration & support is getting easier with this milestone! And the partnership with Crestron is huge...

    Also anxious to see Skype consumers be able to communicate with our enterprise Lync end users.

    And mobility is certainly the biggest room for improvement - looking forward to big developments in this area.

    Thanks again for the news summary!

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