Microsoft recently announced updates to its Lync for Mac unified communications platform. The new release, which is available for download on Microsoft Support's website, adds new two important features: Media Resiliency and Conversation History, as well as additional support for the Apple OS X Yosemite operating system.
Lync, for those who aren't familiar with it, is an enterprise-oriented platform for unified communications (UC). It enables users to communicate securely with colleagues and customers, from virtually wherever they work on a variety of different devices, including desktop PCs, laptops, tablets and phones. Lync offers multi-party HD video conferencing and unified management tools to simplify IT administration.
Barak Manor, product manager for Microsoft's Lync team, recently wrote about Lync's new capabilities. "No network is perfect, of course, and we all want the best possible experience when hiccups happen." This update, he explained, adds Media Resiliency for peer-to-peer calls and Lync Meetings.
Now, if a network disconnect occurs, Lync for Mac will automatically rejoin the meeting or reconnect a peer-to-peer call, provided that network connectivity is re-established within 30 seconds. The video simply freezes when the network connection drops and then re-starts once a connection is re-established.
In addition, Lync for Mac will now maintain the media connection for peer-to-peer calls if connectivity is lost to Lync Server or Lync Online. This lets voice calls continue even when presence information is no longer available.
Improved features for tracking conversation history are another important aspect of the new release. In the past, Lync for Mac could store a record of Lync conversations locally on the Mac, but not in Microsoft Exchange. With this update, Microsoft added two features to improve conversation history for Mac users as well as company administrators. The option to store conversation history in Exchange, as well as locally, gives added security and is easily accessible on the new Conversation History tab in the Lync for Mac client.
Using Exchange allows us to propagate a user’s conversation history across multiple devices; enabling, for example, a person with more than one Mac to revisit all their conversations on either Mac -- rather than seeing only the local conversations. In addition, archival in Exchange simplifies eDiscovery and other compliance tasks for administrators.
OS X Yosemite Support
The new version of Lync for Mac supports OS X Yosemite and is a cumulative release that builds on 10 prior updates to Lync for Mac.
Some of the other important capabilities that have been added over the past two years include dynamic video camera selection during calls; USB peripheral devices support for headsets, speakerphones and cameras; E-911 and location awareness; reduced latency; better control and management of delegation for boss/admin scenarios; better integration with Office 365, including configuration auto discovery and visibility of Audio Conferencing Provider callers in the Lync Meeting roster; and Quality of Experience (QOE) reporting to the server or Office 365 after each call.
Manor reports that Microsoft also plans to continue adding new features to the Mac version of Lync, Additional information is available at the Microsoft Knowledge-Base.
Posted: 2014-12-06 @ 11:46am PT
New features like ability to connect to persistent chat rooms?