Topic Last Modified: 2011-02-03
This topic describes Microsoft Lync 2010 changes and enhancements made since the release of Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 R2.
If you are migrating from Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007, see also "New Client Features" in the Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 documentation at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=169718.
New User Interface
In addition to a new look, Lync 2010 has improved usability and new features that encourage communication and facilitate impromptu meetings and conversations among colleagues.
- The Contacts list is enhanced with additional customization and
search features. (For details, see the “Contacts Enhancements”
section later in this topic.)
- The Conversations list displays a user’s current and recent
conversations. If multiple conversations are in progress, the user
can switch from one Conversation window to another by clicking a
conversation in the list. Lync obtains conversation history from
Microsoft Exchange Server and displays it in the Conversations list
so that users can view and continue their past conversations.
- The Activity Feeds list lets users see note and status updates
for people in their Contacts list. Users can now easily see each
other’s latest activities, such as office moves or new personal
photos, or a history of the last several status notes that have
been posted. Contacts can see each others’ updates if they are
assigned a Family and Friends, Workgroup, Colleagues or External
Contacts privacy relationship.
- The Phone view contains a dial pad for making calls, a list of
voice-mail messages, and a Check button for testing call
The "Me" Area
The top of the Lync user interface shows how users appear to their contacts, and lets users quickly update their status and other information.
- The new personal picture feature displays a user’s picture to
others and lets the user see pictures of other people in the
organization. Users can control whether they want to show their
picture and whether they want to see pictures of others. If you
enable it, users can also change their picture from the default
photo, which is stored in Active Directory Domain Services, to a
custom picture on Microsoft SharePoint services or a public
- Lync keeps track of how available a user is by showing whether
the user is in a meeting, in a call, or away from the desk. Red,
yellow, and green indicators let users know a contact’s status at a
glance. There is also a new “Off Work” status.
- With new location features, Lync can detect a user’s location
when he or she travels between work and home so that Enhanced 9-1-1
(E9-1-1) services will be able to find the user more easily in an
emergency. Users can also use this feature to let contacts see
whether they are on the road or in a different building.
The new Contacts list and contact cards make it easier to find people and keep track of contacts.
- The view of contacts is more customizable in Lync. Users can
display contacts by group, availability, or level of privacy, with
or without photos, and they can start conversations and meetings
from the Contacts list by pointing to the contact. In addition, it
is easy to edit contact information.
- The Frequent Contacts group shows the 10 contacts a user most
frequently has conversations with (not necessarily the most
recent). Lync pre-populates the group with the user’s team members.
Users can pin their favorite or important contacts to the top of
their Frequent Contacts group.
- Searching for contacts is more robust because users can conduct
a skill search. This feature lets users search for people in their
organization by using any property listed on SharePoint (for
example, name, email, skills, area of expertise, and so on) This
feature is available only if the system administrator has deployed
SharePoint and turned on Lync and SharePoint integration.
- New expanded contact cards show more information, including
static information collected from the corporate directory,
customized phone numbers, and presence, location, and time zone
information. Calendar free/busy information from Exchange Server is
also shown. The Organization tab on the contact card shows where
the person fits into the organizational structure and lets users
navigate the hierarchy.
- If your organization has deployed Microsoft Exchange Server
2010, a single unified contact store for contacts across Lync, the
Microsoft Outlook messaging and collaboration client, and other
endpoints eliminates the need to maintain multiple contact lists,
and provides a consistent experience across programs.
New privacy features offer users more control over who can access their information.
- Access levels are now called privacy
relationships. Users can assign their contacts different
privacy relationships, such as Family or Workgroup, depending on
their relationship to the user. Users can also add trusted domains
for people outside the organization.
- Enhanced presence privacy is a new option. With enhanced
presence privacy, a user’s presence is visible to contacts in his
or her Contacts list but not to other people in the
Office and Windows 7 Integration
With the greater interoperability of Lync with Microsoft Office and the Windows 7 operating system, users can access Lync features from within Office and Windows.
- When users run Microsoft Office 2010 products with Lync, they
can perform many of the same actions in Office programs that they
can perform in Lync. Lync features, such as sending instant
messages and sharing documents, are available in Office 2010
products, including Outlook, the Microsoft Word word-processing
program, the Microsoft PowerPoint presentation graphics program,
and Microsoft Excel spreadsheet software. This functionality is
available in SharePoint services, too.
- Lync contacts appear in Outlook. Users can start instant
messaging (IM) or phone conversations from Office applications,
without switching to Lync. And now users can send an Outlook email
message directly from Lync.
- Lync features are available from the Windows 7 taskbar.
Program Sharing, Desktop Sharing, and Collaboration Features
Sharing and collaboration features in Lync have been expanded from desktop sharing to include program sharing, whiteboards, annotation tools, polls, and PowerPoint presentations.
- Users can upload, navigate through, and annotate PowerPoint
presentations during an online conversation or meeting. Any file
presented is transmitted to all meeting participants, who can save
it on their computers. Users can restrict PowerPoint presentation
availability according to participant role (organizer, presenters,
and everyone) when the PowerPoint presentation is not being
- A whiteboard is a blank screen that can be used for
collaborating with the help of tools such as text, ink, shapes, and
images. Annotations made on whiteboards will be seen by all
participants. The whiteboard feature enhances collaboration by
allowing meeting participants to discuss ideas, brainstorm, take
notes, and so on.
- The laser pointer tool can be used during PowerPoint slide
presentations and whiteboard sessions.
- Users can share files with meeting participants by uploading
them as attachments. During a meeting, participants can download
the attachments. Users can restrict the availability of attachments
according to meeting participants’ roles (organizer, presenters, or
- The polling feature enhances collaboration by allowing
presenters to quickly determine participants’ preferences. During
online meetings and conversations, presenters can use polls to
gather anonymous responses from participants. All presenters can
see the results and can either hide the results or show them to all
Recording and Playback
- When enabled by the administrator, the recording feature allows
organizers and presenters to record all aspects of a Lync session,
including who entered the meeting, audio and video, and content
from IM conversations, program sharing sessions, PowerPoint
presentations, handouts, whiteboards, and so on.
- Recordings are saved to the organizer’s or presenter’s computer
but can also be published to a location that is available to
Improved Meeting Join Experience
In Lync, users can join meetings faster and schedule meetings more simply.
- An improved Online Meeting Add-in for Microsoft Lync 2010 and
meeting user interface makes it easier to schedule meetings in
Outlook and invite others before and during meetings.
- Join metrics included with Lync can be used to measure join
performance, which is targeted at less than two seconds when Lync
- Entry points for joining a meeting are displayed wherever
meeting information is available, which improves discoverability
and lets users join meetings without having to switch programs.
- Meeting URLs are simpler, easier to remember, and easier to
communicate. The invitation has been simplified by including a
shorter https:// URL. The organizer can also change the language of
the invitation from another language to English and schedule online
meetings when Lync is not available.
- Authentication-related join failures caused by inadvertent
access control configurations or last-minute changes to attendees
are prevented. Anonymous users and participants for whom
authentication fails are transferred to a waiting area called the
lobby. Presenters can then either admit these users to the
meeting or reject them.
- From the invitation, mobile phone users can click once to join
the audio portion of meetings.
PSTN Dial-In and Dial-Out Conferencing
A number of enhancements improve the experience for people joining conferences through public switched telephone network (PSTN) calls.
- In Microsoft Lync Server 2010, there are a minimal number of
concise prompts that users must respond to when they join a
- Callers are no longer disconnected if no one is available to
accept the call. Instead, they wait in the lobby. In Lync Server
2010, organizers can decline admittance to any caller waiting in
- Callers have access to dual-tone multifrequency (DTMF) commands
through the Help menu.
- Callers are notified when calls are recorded.
- Dial-in settings are automatically configured for audio
conferencing. No audio conferencing provider configuration is
- Meeting dial-out is an optional feature that allows users to
join the audio portion of a meeting by using a PSTN number. With
dial-out phoning, the Lync Server A/V Conferencing service calls
the user, and the user answers the phone to join the meeting.
The video experience in Lync features improved video controls and the full-screen experience, in addition to support for panoramic video, multipoint video, subscription video, and VGA video in conferences.
In addition to the features listed in the “Call Handling: Delegation and Response Group Enhancements” section later in this topic, Lync has added support for delegate features so that delegates do not have to switch between Lync and the Microsoft Lync 2010 Attendant console. Lync now provides: notification when a user is added as someone’s delegate, the ability to make calls on behalf of the manager, and an automatic contact group that contains people for whom a user is a delegate. In Lync, a delegate can support multiple managers and make use of collaboration tools, such as program sharing and file transfer, which are not supported by Lync 2010 Attendant.
Call Park and Retrieve
Administrators can enable the Call Park feature, which lets users put a call on hold and then either retrieve it themselves or notify other users (for example, by IM) to retrieve the call from their own phones or a common area phone.
Call Quality Checks and Diagnostics
Lync provides notifications to help users improve the quality of their calls if it detects device, network, or computer issues during a call.
- A network health indicator monitors the quality of the network
at regular intervals. If network quality is poor, a message is sent
that recommends that a user make a test call to ensure the quality
is sufficient for the type of call the user needs to make.
- Approximately twelve potential audio problems are diagnosed,
such as echo, speaking too softly, and low bandwidth. Sources of
audio problems may include the network, computer, devices, or
multiple issues occurring at the same time.
- A Check Call Quality button allows users to make a test call on
Lync so that they can check the voice quality of the call. It
allows users to hear how they would sound in a real call. When
users make a test call, the Audio Test service prompts them to
record a voice sample after a beep. The sample records for a
pre-defined time period (for example 10 seconds), and then it plays
back to the user. If the network is sub-optimal, or if users do not
have a good device setup, they will discover this from the
- During a call, if a user has a device setup that is adding poor
audio (for example, echo or noise), Lync informs the user and
others in the call that they are using a device that is causing
poor audio quality. The information that is sent to others in the
call will help them improve the quality of the call. For example,
presenters can mute the user’s line if the user is just listening
in on the call.
Improved Audio Device Handling
Improved audio device handling allows for easier installation and identification of multiple audio devices. Users can switch devices in a conversation with a single click. Administrators can choose to advise users to use a device that is optimized for Lync and provide a link to the support team’s website. Device tuning settings are located in the Lync - Options dialog box.
Location and Emergency Services Support (E9-1-1)
When enabled, the Emergency Services Service Provider allows Lync to transmit a location to emergency responders when an emergency services number is dialed (such as 9-1-1 in the United States).
- The location information transmitted to emergency responders is
the location that the administrator has assigned to a user’s
location (for example, the user’s office number) and entered into
the location database or, if such a location is not available, the
location the user may have manually entered in the Location
- Two policies are available to administrators: enable E9-1-1
without enforcing location and enable E9-1-1 with the requirement
that users accept a disclaimer that their physical location will
not be provided to emergency responders should they choose not to
provide the location. All E9-1-1 related notifications are
customizable according to the organization’s legal policy.
- A user’s geographic location data is determined in one of two
ways: The user can manually enter a location, or the Lync
Server Location Information service provides the location data
to Lync. In addition, a user’s time zone is retrieved from
Call Handling: Delegation and Response Group Enhancements
Lync includes call delegation and response group enhancements.
- In Lync Server, support for delegate features−such as shared
lines (making and receiving calls on behalf of a manager), direct
access to a manager at all times, and quick transfer of calls to a
manager−allow delegates to manage calls more efficiently.
- Response group call handling is enhanced to allow agents to
answer calls anonymously so that workflow is not circumvented by
callers calling a direct line.
- Administrators can set up Microsoft Exchange Calendar Delegate
sync-up with Lync Server. When enabled, Exchange Calendar Delegates
with appropriate user rights and permissions (equal to or greater
than Nonediting Author permissions) are automatically added as a
user’s delegates in Lync.
Enhanced Phone Experience
Lync provides enhanced phone capabilities with all the functions of a traditional public branch exchange (PBX) system plus useful productivity features.
- The Phone view provides a list of voice-mail messages and call
logs and includes an on-screen dial pad.
- Users can quickly place a test call to check the quality of
- A Collect Logs feature allows users to collect Lync logs so
that Microsoft can investigate audio, video, or connectivity issues
that users may encounter. Users will need to manually upload the
logs by following their enterprise administrator's instructions.
The enterprise administrator will send the logs to Microsoft for
- Users can select their personal favorite song or other recorded
announcement to play while their callers are on hold.