Introducing Microsoft Lync, the next OCS!

It’s a pretty big day for the Office Communications team here at Microsoft. I’m excited to share that we’ve met a major milestone and are making the release candidate of our ‘wave 14’ communications products available for anyone to download.  In addition, there has been much speculation on what the new name for the release would be, so I get to officially announce that here too – the new name is Microsoft Lync. 


Let me provide a little more detail on both the release candidate and the new name than you’ll hear in the press release.


First the new name.  For those of you who have followed the Office Communications business over the past several releases, you’ll know that this is an important milestone in a journey that started more than five years ago with a vision to transform communications with software.  This vision, set out by leaders like Bill Gates, Jeff Raikes and Gurdeep Singh Pall, included bringing together various and “siloed” real-time communications systems and creating new ways for people to connect with each other.  Lync 2010 is the release that delivers on this vision by unifying enterprise voice, instant messaging and web, audio and video conference – all within the same user experience and back-end infrastructure, as well connecting people in new ways through things like integrated expect search and interactive contact cards throughout Office.


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.


With the 2010 release, we will use Lync as the ‘family’ brand and within each of our communications products:

Product 2010 Release 2007 Release
Family Microsoft Lync Microsoft Office Communications
The server Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2
The client Microsoft Lync 2010 Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 R2
The service Microsoft Lync Online Microsoft Office Communications Online
The web client Microsoft Lync Web App Microsoft Office Communicator Web Access


Now about the release candidate.  With nearly 20,000 people inside Microsoft and more than 100 enterprise customers already using the Lync 2010 beta, the R&D team is on track to deliver the product to market before the end of the year.  I’ve been using Lync 2010 for about six months now, both in conjunction with a beta IP phone from Polycom, as well as via my laptop on its own (primarily when I’m traveling or at home). 


Some of the new ways of communicating that I’ve grown attached to over the last six months include:

  1. Switching between my head-set and laptop or speakerphone, in the middle of a call with device switching.
  2. Selecting multiple people in my contact list and initiating a group call. If I need to add someone else, I can ‘drag’ their name from the list to the call.
  3. Leaving the office and taking my call with me on my mobile phone.
  4. Having Lync test my network connection before I start a video call or meeting.
  5. Going from IM, to voice, to video to app sharing, all within the same client experience.



The R&D team has gathered and incorporated tons of great feedback in the release candidate, including many suggestions from previous releases (check out the new dial-pad in Lync 2010 as just one example).  After testing, we essentially freeze the code, and make this near final cut of the software – i.e., the release candidate – available for broader use.  As of today, you can download it here, as well as get more information on the release here.


We hope that many of you will take a look and like Lync 2010 as much as the early beta testers have. 




Kirk Gregersen

Senior Director


Comments (26)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Great stuff!  I like the name…short and sweet.  

  2. Anonymous says:

    Congrats to the team!

  3. Adam Jacobs says:

    Congrats all, a great new name and a revolutionary step forwards for OCS…sorry I mean Lync 🙂

  4. Thomas Lee says:

    Awesome – I've downloaded the bits and am building out a test farm as fast as I can type!

  5. Mike England says:

    Congrats to the UC Team at MSFT on Microsoft Lync – am now really looking forward to seeing Lync on show within the Microsoft Partner Village at UC Expo next year

  6. agusto says:

    how about the collaboration with Sharepoint 2010 either foundation 2010 or sharepoint server 2010. Is it still like OCS 2007 R2, or already have web part to connect to OCS ?



  7. Thom Foreman says:

    Congratulations to Microsoft.

    We have it in production for test users already. So far, we love it.

  8. Karen Auby says:

    Congrats!!!  I can't wait tot try it.. hoping it comes with an Android app too 😀

  9. Amy Huson says:

    Linc is so simply, almost obvious.  Great name.  

  10. Congrats on the new Lync name, the markets and customers expect a lot from the new functionaltity. Good luck on realizing the vision

  11. Ali Khan says:

    Awesome. This is brilliant news. Will download and try it out soon. Can't wait to hear more about the hosted version – Lync Online.

    Does anyone know if Windows Mobile 7 devices will have support for the IM feature?

  12. Keith T says:

    Congratulations, it sounds like Microsoft re-invented Skype

  13. Gordon Yeu says:

    Nah…now developer get confused when they talk about LINQ and Lync.

  14. Andy Star says:

    Could you please inform how long Lync will be free for download and could you please announce the future license price,


  15. Marco says:

    Well i was really in heaveb with the improvement list.

    Sound like al bug / sp feature list not à new wave release.

  16. Steve says:

    How about building clients for other platforms?

  17. Simon says:

    Is there finally support for SIP over UDP? (I'm aware that SIP/UDP is less than perfect)

  18. MrGroove says:

    Really?  3 Releases and 3 Names?  Looks like your marketing team is trying to find a reason for their existance….…/6716

  19. Rich says:

    You're kidding right.  What was wrong with OCS?  Lync?  It looks like someone typo'd Lynx.  What a stupid name.  You guys are getting to be as bad as the Share Point team with all the name changes

  20. IT Tester says:

    Can Lync 2010 RC be used to upgrade an existing OCS 2007 R2 on Svr2008SP2 platform?

  21. John says:

    Any news on a BlackBerry client?  Haven't seen anything in the materials published so far…

  22. Eirik says:


    One thing that our users are asking for in OCS r2 is better video in Live meeting. Can you now with Lync have higher resoulution than 320×240 in a conferance? If anyway have some more hard facts like this please post an url. All i seem to find right now is just simple presentations in bad flash videos 😉


  23. Rick says:

    Can I get a referencable account for more than IM MOC client deployments, or is that in a future release?

  24. Anonymous says:

    Microsoft Lync Server 2010 RC Milestone

  25. anonymouscommenter says:

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  26. anonymouscommenter says:

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