Topic Last Modified: 2011-03-23

Instant messaging (IM) enables your users to communicate with each other in real time on their computers using text-based messages. Both two-party and multiparty IM sessions are supported. A participant in a two-party IM conversation can add a third participant to the conversation at any time. When this happens, the Conversation window changes to support conferencing features.

Presence provides information to users about the status of other on the network. A user’s presence status provides information to help others decide whether they should try to contact the user and whether to use instant messaging, phone, or email. Presence encourages instant communication when possible, but it also provides information about whether a user is in a meeting or out of the office, indicating that instant communication is not possible. This presence status is displayed as a presence icon in Microsoft Lync 2010 and other presence-aware applications, including the Microsoft Outlook messaging and collaboration client, Microsoft SharePoint technologies, Microsoft Word, and Microsoft Excel spreadsheet software. The presence icon represents the user’s current availability and willingness to communicate.