Topic Last Modified: 2013-10-07

Instant messaging (IM) and presence are automatically installed in any Lync Server deployment.

Presence information enables users to approach colleagues at the right time with the right form of communication, to lead to a more productive work environment. A user’s presence is a collection of information that includes availability, willingness to communicate, additional notes (such as location and status), and how the user can be contacted. Presence is enhanced in Lync Server with pictures, location information, and a rich set of presence states that includes “Off Work,” “Do Not Disturb,” and “Be Right Back,” in addition to basic states such as “Available,” “Busy,” and “In a Conference.” Administrators can also define customized, organization-specific presence states.

Contact management and user access options enable users to control what information others can see. Users can set different levels of contacts, each of which can view different levels of presence information.

By simply looking at a Contacts list, users can find everything they need to know at a glance. Simple colored icons indicate other users’ presence status, and picture and location are also shown.

With the integration between Lync Server and other products such as Outlook and SharePoint, whenever a contact’s name appears, such as in an email message or on a team website, the status and contact information is also displayed. Additionally, if you deploy Exchange 2013, Lync Server and Exchange 2013 can share a unified contact store, which can be accessed by clients of either product.

With instant messaging in Lync Server, users can quickly message each other with timely information. If you prefer, your users can also communicate with users of public IM networks such as MSN/Windows Live, Yahoo!, and AOL. Note that a separate license might be required for public IM connectivity with Windows Live, AOL, and Yahoo! Lync Server also includes Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP) compatibility, so your users can exchange IM messages and presence information with users of XMPP services such as Google Talk.

  • As of September 1st, 2012, the Microsoft Lync Public IM Connectivity User Subscription License (“PIC USL”) is no longer available for purchase for new or renewing agreements. Customers with active licenses will be able to continue to federate with Yahoo! Messenger until the service shut down date. An end of life date of June 2014 for AOL and Yahoo! has been announced. For details, see Support for public instant messenger connectivity.

  • The PIC USL is a per-user per-month subscription license that is required for Lync Server or Office Communications Server to federate with Yahoo! Messenger. Microsoft’s ability to provide this service has been contingent upon support from Yahoo!, the underlying agreement for which is winding down.

  • More than ever, Lync is a powerful tool for connecting across organizations and with individuals around the world. Federation with Windows Live Messenger requires no additional user/device licenses beyond the Lync Standard CAL. Skype federation will be added to this list, enabling Lync users to reach hundreds of millions of people with IM and voice.

Conversation history enables users to keep track of old IM conversations, and retrieve information that may have been communicated by IM months ago.

The Persistent Chat feature enables users to participate in multiparty, topic-based conversations that persist over time. Messages posted to chat rooms (discussion forums) can be persistent (that is, available over time), so that people from different locations and departments can participate, even when they are not all online at the same time.

If your organization must follow compliance regulations, you can deploy a message archiving feature to archive the content of instant messages for all users in your organization, or for only certain users you specify. If you also deploy Exchange 2013, your IM archive can be integrated with the In-Place Hold feature of Exchange, to provide a single administration experience for your compliance.