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What is Microsoft Lync?

Microsoft Lync is a Microsoft platform for unified communications including online meetings, instant messaging, audio and video calls, availability information and sharing capabilities.

Microsoft Lync is designed to simply keep track of all your connections.  Lync is an integrated communications platform that brings many services together including audio and video conferencing, email, instant messaging, availability indicators and many more services all in a single interface.  Many of you may remember its ancestor, MSN messenger.  Lync does the same thing, it allows you to access all of the services above from a single small window.

Lync is an extremely robust tool and it even allows you to make phone calls through your desktop or smart device.  Some businesses also have removed the traditional phone and replaced it with Microsoft Lync.  Many IT professionals like the fact that Lync integrates with other corporate applications such as Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SharePoint and even Microsoft 365.

Another great feature with Lync is that you are one click away from your contacts, messages and even conversation history in addition to collaboration of documents.

Are there different versions of Lync?

Microsoft Lync is available in two different flavours, Lync Server 2013 and Lync Online.

Lync Server 2013 is a unified communications platform for the enterprise and a standalone service from Microsoft Microsoft 365.  Lync Server 2013 is usually in large enterprises and not used in small and medium-sized business (SMBs).

Lync Online is available standalone service or can be used with many Microsoft Microsoft 365 suites that includes Lync Online, Microsoft Exchange Online, Microsoft SharePoint Online, Microsoft Office Professional Plus, and Microsoft Office Online.  If your company subscribes to Lync Online, you will retain control over the collaboration services offered to users without having on-premises servers.

In 2015, Lync is expanding and it will become Skype for Business.

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