For the past couple of months we’ve been extolling the virtues of Microsoft Communications Server “14” and, in particular, the software’s implementation of Windows PowerShell. Well, you can forget everything we’ve told you up to this point (as if you hadn’t done so already). Why can you forget everything we’ve told you so far about Microsoft Communications Server “14”? Because, as it turns out, there’s no such thing as Microsoft Communications Server “14” after all. Instead, the software has been officially named Microsoft Lync Server 2010.
Whoa, settle down; as you might expect, we’re just as excited and exhilarated about the name change as you are. (Maybe even more so, seeing as how we now get to go through the scores of articles on this web site and change every instance of Microsoft Communications Server “14” to Microsoft Lync Server 2010.) We know you have questions and that’s fine; we have answers. They aren’t necessarily answers that go along with your questions, but, as they say, here goes nothing:
Why did you guys choose the name Microsoft Lync Server 2010?
Well, to be honest, the two of us originally thought that the name was an homage to the old Saturday morning TV series Lancelot Link, Super Chimp, a show in which chimpanzees played the role of secret agents (Lancelot’s comrade-in-arms was a chimp named Mata Hairi). Oddly enough, however, the official Microsoft press release doesn’t mention Lancelot Link at all. Instead it notes that:
"Lync is the new family brand for the products formerly known as Communications Server, Communications Online and Communicator, and it also now includes Lync Web App, and Lync Online …. 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. 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."
As for the name itself, well, the Unified Communications Group Team Blog addresses that issue:
"As we watched Lync 2010 develop into reality, we wanted a new name that reflected the major product transformation. In that sense, Lync – a combination of “link” and “sync” – is about connecting people in new ways, anytime, anywhere. Beyond simplifying and shortening the current branding, customer research found that the name Lync appeals to end users and IT pros, even more than descriptive options like Communicator. If you’ve ever worked on a branding process, you know how personal it can be. Everyone involved has their favorite name (and of course none of them are the same!). So we were pleased that most people in research and internally gravitated toward Lync. We hope you like the name as much as we do."
In other words, Lync has everything to do with linking and syncing, and very little to do with Lancelot Link.
You didn’t really think they’d name a Microsoft product after an obscure television show like Lancelot Link, Super Chimp, did you?
No, not really (especially given the mismatched spelling). We’ve always assumed that, if we were ever going to name a product after a TV show, we’d be talking about Microsoft Gilligan right about now.
Speaking of Microsoft Gilligan, do you know if any other names were considered before they settled on Microsoft Lync Server 2010?
As a matter of fact, we have a list of other names that were rumored to have been batted about before the decision was made to go with Microsoft Lync Server 2010:
· Office Communications Server 2007 R2 (until someone pointed out that this was the name of the old version of the product)
· Microsoft Communications Server 14 (removing the double quote marks around “14”)
· Microsoft Communications Server 15
· Microsoft Bob 2010
· Toy Story 4
· Microsoft Communications Server – Now With Added Fiber
· That One Thing, I Think Microsoft Makes It, You Know, Like, You Can Send Instant Messages and Stuff With It, and, Um, It, Um, Let’s You Use Your Computer as a Phone, You Know, That One Thing, I Think Microsoft Makes It? 2010
· Microsoft Vuvuzela
Did you guys really consider those names before deciding to go with Microsoft Lync Server 2010?
Or at least we don’t think we did. Most of the time an important decision needs to be made at Microsoft (like coming up with a new product name) the first thing Steve Ballmer does is tell his assistant, “You know those two tech writers who write that obscure blog about PowerShell and Communications Server? We need to get them into this meeting ASAP!” For some reason, however, we weren’t invited to the meeting where they came up with the name Microsoft Lync Server 2010.
Is that because the two of you would have pushed for Microsoft Vuvuzela?
That probably didn’t help us.
I actually have a name that would have been funnier than Microsoft Vuvuzela. Can I send it to you guys?
You bet you can. If you think you have a name that’s funnier than Microsoft Vuvuzela email it to firstname.lastname@example.org, along with a brief explanation as to why you chose that name. We’ll print the submitted names (or at least we’ll print the printable names). After all, while we think Microsoft Lync Server 2010 is going to mark a huge evolutionary step in the field of unified communications, well, that doesn’t mean we can’t have a little fun with it. Remember, we’re Microsoft, the company that invented fun.
Well, OK. But at least we’re the company that bought out the company that did invent fun.
Is this name change going to affect Windows PowerShell in any way?
That’s a good question, and the answer to that question is this: not really. As most of you know (or would know, if you read some of our useful blog articles instead of these silly made-up articles) the Communications Serv – uh, the Microsoft Lync Server 2010 cmdlets all follow a strict naming convention: each cmdlet name features a noun that starts with the letters Cs (for “Communications Server”). Thus:
Will the Cs designator be replaced by something else (e.g., Ls or Lynk)? Nope. But there were one or two parameter names changed. For example, there’s a parameter for Get-CsUser that’s now named OnLyncServer.
Since you’re leaving the cmdlet names as-in, couldn’t you say that the Cs stands for something other than Communications Server?
That’s an interesting idea. A quick Web search turned up the following possibilities:
· Cesium. As it turns out, Cs is the atomic symbol for the element Cesium, the “… most electropositive and most alkaline element.” Cesium, in case you’re wondering, is a metal that melts at room temperature. The new Lync Server 2010 software does not melt at room temperature. Which is all the more reason to use our software rather than the software produced by our competitors. (We searched their Web sites, but neither IBM or Cisco come right out and state that their software will not melt at room temperature.)
· CompuServ. Apparently CS is often used to refer to CompuServ. To be honest, we didn’t even know CompuServ still existed. But it does. Which leads us to wonder if maybe Lancelot Link, Super Chimp is still out there, somewhere.
· Credit Suisse. CS is the stock symbol for Credit Suisse, an international financial services company headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland. In 2005, Credit Suisse was awarded the Best Foreign Investment Bank in Indonesia!
· CS gas. CS gas is the name commonly-used when talking about 2-chlorobenzalmalononitrile, a compound used in making tear gas. You know what? We’re going to go ahead and eliminate that possibility right now, without even considering it.
· Computer Science. Colleges and universities that offer Computer Science courses typically refer to “CS” courses. That’s not great, but it’s a step up from CS gas.
· Chuck Stemp. Younger brother of one the authors, the “… most electropositive and most alkaline” of the Stemp boys.
And while it’s a bit of a stretch, is it too much to hope for Chimp SecretAgent?
If you have other suggestions, let us know.
I don’t have any suggestions, but I do have more questions about Windows Server with Microsoft Lync Server 2010, and not just about the name change. What can I do about that?
Send your questions to email@example.com and we’ll see if we can help. And remember, if enough people write in to say they like the name Microsoft Vuvuzela, well, you never know ….
Is it true that, before you found out about the name change, both of you got tattoos that said Microsoft Communications Server "14"?
We'd prefer not to talk about that.