Microsoft Lync 2013 is an enterprise-ready unified communications platform that supports instant messaging, voice, HD video, and conferencing, and eliminates the need to use a VPN for encryption. Lync 2013 supports HD video conferencing and it's the first version of Lync to take advantage of Windows 8 “touch first” capabilities to provide fast, natural, hands-on control of communications.
This touch support will give Microsoft an advantage is fulfilling my prediction that tablets will replace the desktop phone. Windows 8 tablets running Lync will become the ultimate unified communications device, performing everything from your traditional voice (VoIP) to HD video conferencing, as well as collaboration, instant messaging, and all the other typical UC features. While the Apple iPad initially came into the enterprise mostly through the back door (employees bringing their personal iPads into office), I suspect enterprises will bring Windows 8 tablets through the front door, adopting Windows 8 tablets because of its superb enterprise communication features. I've already laid down the gauntlet and made the prediction that Windows 8 tablets will beat the iPad in the enterprise and certainly Lync on Windows 8 will help my prediction come to fruition.
According to Matt Landis, here are the new features in Lync 2013:
- Multi-Party HD Video
- H.264 SVC Support
- Skype Federation: Presence, IM, Peer-to-Peer Voice. No mention of video
- Voice/Video over Lync Web App
- Lync Mobile VoIP
Other Noted Features and Changes
- 1080p Peer to Peer and Multiparty video
- Archiving and Monitoring Server Roles Are Now Collocated on Front End (eliminating another server)
- XMPP is now installed on Edge Server (eliminating another server)
· Lync 2013 Preview (as part of the Office 2013 Preview ProPlus SKU): http://technet.microsoft.com/evalcenter/hh973391
· Lync Server 2013 Preview (Eval): http://technet.microsoft.com/evalcenter/hh973393