With the new Lync 2013 much has changed on the server side, but also the client side has not been untouched.
Within the client there are some new features available and the lay-out has been changed to communicate even faster and easyer..
New in the client is the quick launch menu.
From within this menu users can start a chat, voice or video conference with only one click. It’s also possible to open the users contact card.
The menu will be shown when the mouse cursor is placed on the photo of the contact.
Another new feature is the use of chatrooms, also known as Persistent Chat.
These are chatrooms where you can participate in ongoing conversations.
The full history of the conversation will be available in the chatroom.
Chatrooms can be created for all kind of purposes. For example the different departments or community’s. Or an “ off topic” chatroom where users can chat about there weekends.
The following views are available in the chatroom view.
- Followed: Chatrooms followed by you.
- Member Of: Chatrooms where you are a member of.
- New: New chatrooms.
Chatrooms can be created with three types of privacy levels..
- Open: Everyone can search, read and post. No membership needed.
- Closed: Everyone can search, but only members can read and post. ( Default )
- Secret: Only visible to members.
Chatrooms can be created by the administrator or users.
To provide users with the option to create chatrooms, administrators first have to set the appropriate permissions.
Chatrooms can be created easily within the Lync client as shown below.
The page below will be shown when the user does have permissions to create a chatroom.
The name, privacy levels, members and room managers can be set here.
EGO filter / Topic Feed
A cool feature is the EGO filter.
The name already reveils the use of this feature.
The EGO filter searches all chatrooms available to you for your name.
As soon as your name is mentioned by someone ( not you ) in one of the chatrooms the EGO filter wil notify you.
The EGO filter is built with the use of topic feeds.
A topic feed can be created for topics you are interested in. As soon as a topic is mentioned in a chatrooms you will be notified.
Topic feeds can be created from the same menu as the “ create chatroom “ option.
Tabbed converstations / converstation history
In Lync 2010 you needed to install an application to use tabbed conversations. In Lync 2013 this became a standard feature.
It is also possible to reopen your last conversations at signin. This way you can pick up where you left off. Both features must first be enabled within the Lync options.
The below screen shows the Lync options where to enable this features.
Also new are the preview windows. There are similar to the preview windows in Office 2013.
As soon as the mouse cursor is places above a buttion a preview of the actions for that button pop up.
These actions can be chosen directly from the preview window.
Very handy when you want to start a video session and want to check if you have a bad hairday before activating the videofeed.
Improved conference options
Powerpoint presentations can be a part of a chat or conference call.
These presentations can be easily added to the conference with the presentation button.
Once the presentation is added it will be shown in the chat or conference.
The view automatically switches to the presentation view.
It is also possible to create shared notes, also with the presentation button.
Onenote is used for this.
From within the shared presentation the presenter can add voice, video or chat to create a conference call.
As the presenter you have several options to manage the call.
You have the options to mute all except yourself, or to end all video except your own.
This can be handy when you do not want the conference to be interactive.
From the call button you can choose which devices you want to use.
Another handy feature I came accross is the option to merge calls into the conference.
If you are called by someone you can easily add this person to an ongoing conversation..
Depending on the type of conference you can choose between different type of views.
These views are personal so every attendee can choose there own view.
The different views:
- Gallery: Photo’s or video feed is shown.
- Speaker: Only the active speaker is shown.
- Presentation: The powerpoint slides are shown.
- Compact: The chat is shown.
A big improvement is the added support for Virtual desktops ( VDI )
Lync 2013 can be used within your Virtual desktop infrastructure.
To get this to work you need to install a plugin on the client you use to connect to VDI.
The full blown Lync client needs to be installed on your RDS or VDI.
Lync 2013 detects your face and keeps your face centered within the frame.
Even if you move, the client keeps your face in the centre of the frame.
When a second person joins your videofeed, the client will notice this switch to a wider view.
When you are in a conference and all attendees have a videofeed, they can be shown all at once in the galleryview shown above.
As you can see Lync 2013 client shows many improvements compared to Lync 2010. This can be a valuable asset to your company.
Especially company’s where employees are always on the road, the chatrooms and improved conference can ensure better communication and teamwork.