The 16 Best HD Videoconferencing Solutions launched in 2010 (Editor’s Choice) – 12. Microsoft Lync 2010 Server and Client offers peer-to-peer video at 720p
24 January 2011. Microsoft Corp. announced on 13 September the release candidate of Microsoft Lync, the next generation of Microsoft’s unified communications software that enables people to connect in new ways, anytime, anywhere. he release candidates of Lync 2010 and Lync Server 2010 were made available for businesses of all sizes to try for free. Release to general availability was scheduled for later in 2010.
Microsoft Lync is the new family brand for the products formerly known as Microsoft Communications Server, Communications Online and Communicator. The Microsoft Lync 2010 platform will include the following software products: Microsoft Lync Server 2010 (Server), Microsoft Lync 2010 (Client), Microsoft Lync Web App (Web Client), and Microsoft Lync Online (Hosted UC Service)
Gurdeep Singh Pall, corporate vice president of Unified Communications at Microsoft, said: “Over the past five years we have been on a journey to transform communications with the power of software. Lync delivers on this vision by unifying enterprise voice, instant messaging and web-, audio- and videoconferencing into a new, connected communications experience.”
Microsoft Lync can make every engagement a virtual face-to-face meeting, because any interaction can include video and audio conferencing, application and desktop sharing, instant messaging, and telephony.
Microsoft® Lync™ delivers a fresh, intuitive user experience that is directly accessible from Microsoft Office applications such as Microsoft Outlook®, Microsoft Word, and Microsoft SharePoint®. Lync brings together the different ways people communicate in a single interface, is deployed as a unified platform, and is administered through a single management infrastructure. The unified nature of the system helps reduce costs and facilitates rapid user adoption. And, because Lync is broadly interoperable, it fits into existing IT infrastructure for easier deployment and migration.
Microsoft Lync has been designed from the ground up to work with Microsoft Office, SharePoint and Exchange, which helps reduce end-user adoption hurdles and increase return on investment. People can also stay connected to others on a wide range of devices while away from the office and manage their communications and calls in new ways, such as easily moving a call from a PC to a mobile device while leaving the office without disrupting the conversation.
More than 120 enterprise customers and partners are enrolled in the Microsoft Technology Adoption Program (TAP) for Lync, testing early releases and providing feedback. In addition, more than 30 partners announced beta versions of their Lync-compatible hardware, software and service products. Hardware products include a variety of Internet protocol phones and USB endpoints optimized for Lync. Software solutions include contact centers, call recording, accounting and new applications that incorporate communications right within business processes.
Microsoft Lync replaces Microsoft’s Office Communications Server, which increased sales by more than 50 percent in the year ended 30 June 2010. The software competes with products from companies like Cisco and Avaya Inc. in a market that may grow more than fivefold to $14.5 billion in 2015, according to an estimate from Forrester Research Inc.
Microsoft already has customers such as Sprint Nextel Corp. and General Electric Co.’s health-care unit, which uses Office Communications Server to let doctors share X-rays and chat with each other at the click of a button. Schlumberger Ltd., the world’s biggest oilfield-services company, uses the program to reach the right personnel when a sensor on an oil rig indicates a malfunction.
Lync Server 2010 simplifies the user experience by incorporating video into the unified client so that adding scheduling an online meeting with video or escalating to video spontaneously is seamless and easy. In order to provide the most immersive communications experience possible, Lync Server 2010 supports a variety of video conferencing options.
Support for 720p High-definition video with aspect ratio 16:9 and VGA video with aspect ratio aisavvailable for peer-to-peer calls between users running Lync 2010 on high-end computers. Lync 2010 can display a 360 degree video panorama of a meeting room or other location. Lync Server 2010 detects who is speaking and then sends the applicable video stream to all participants.
IT administrators can set policies to restrict or disable high-definition or VGA video on clients, depending on computer capability, network bandwidth, and the presence of a camera able to deliver the required resolution. These policies are enforced through in-band provisioning.
Lync Server 2010 enables real-time video not just among Lync 2010 endpoints, but also between Lync 2010 endpoints and endpoints from third-party hardware vendors. Users can use third-party video conferencing hardware while scheduling meetings and determining attendee availability using familiar tools, such as Outlook or Lync 2010.
Lync 2010 adds new or enhanced features for: Application and document sharing, Whiteboarding, Desktop and application sharing, Web Conferencing and Recording Virtual Meetings.
Microsoft Lync Server 2010 (Server) and Microsoft Lync 2010 (Client) are a sophisticated Unified Communications solution. They are certainly one of “The Best High Definition Videoconferencing Solutions of 2010.”
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