Pall then slid off discussion of the voice capabilities of Lync to present a list of new collaboration features that have been added including contact cards with photos of contacts that are automatically pulled from their personal pages within SharePoint, Pall says. Hovering a cursor over the photo yields more information about the person drawn from Active Directory.
Presence information is drawn automatically from Outlook calendar appointments as well as from individuals' status instant messaging, on phone calls or in conferences.
Pall highlighted a new feature that lists all forms of contact users have had with people on their contact lists. The history includes instant message strings, phone calls, conferences and e-mails. When a contact is invited to join a follow-up conversation, that history is attached so they can come up to speed quickly. "It's the mother of all redials," Pall says.
Lync 2010 client software includes a softphone with dialpad as well as the capability to call up voicemail that is stored in Outlook but without having to start the Outlook client.
These highlighted features are similar to features other UC&C vendors already have, so don't represent groundbreaking advances in general.
Demonstrations during the announcement showed setting up multimedia conferences that include a shared whiteboard on a touchscreen being manipulated by parties in separate locations. The whiteboard segment of a single screen view of the conference was isolated and displayed on a separate monitor, allowing it to be enlarged to full screen.
A separate demonstration showed a person using consumer Microsoft products being included in a Lync conference via Windows Live Messenger video and audio features.
Lync is generally available to buy Dec. 1.
Read more about lans and routers in Network World's LANs & Routers section.