As part of its Lync family -- the new and improved name for Office Communications Server starting with the 2010 release -- is getting a new Mac client.
Communicator for Mac will be available to users of Lync Server and/or as part of Office 2011 for Mac. Communicator for Mac will be available to volume licensing customers only, the Softies said.
On the Microsoft Mactopia blog on September 24, officials explained the new strategy.
Lync for Mac 2011 is available to customers as a part of the Office for Mac 2011 Volume Licensing SKU, Office for Mac Standard 2011, or through many of Microsoft’s Licensing programs. Customers can also purchase the application as a standalone volume licensing SKU. The Microsoft Lync for Mac 2011 client cannot view a shared Microsoft Office 2013 PowerPoint presentation under the following circumstances: A conference attendee signed in to the conference by using the Lync for Mac 2011 client. After the Lync for Mac 11 installation program downloads to your Mac, go back to the Skype for Business page, and choose Lync for Mac 2011 update. At the Microsoft download center, choose Download to download the Lync for Mac 2011 update program onto your Mac.
Windows Live users will continue to use the dedicated Messenger for Mac client, according to the post. But Lync Server 2010 users will start using a new Communicator for Mac client. The Messenger for Mac 8 beta launched in March and added support for video calls with other Windows Live users. The Communicator client includes built-in Live Meeting functionality, Microsoft officials said earlier this year.
The explained the reason for adding a new Communicator client this way:
'One focus of Office for Mac 2011 was to integrate real-time communication features into Office applications like Word and PowerPoint and we expect that effort to continue.
'In addition to integration with Office, we need to support our two partners, Windows Live and Office Communications Server (aka Lync). Within Microsoft these are separate organizations that move quickly to add new, useful features for their respective users.
'In order to best support productivity with Office applications and the features of both partners, it was time for us to separate the applications. Separate apps will allow us to provide the best experience for both sets of users.'
Microsoft still plans to maintain Messenger for Mac as a free download, but the team is unlikely to support non-productivity-centric features, like games or winks, according to the post. Communicator for Mac will be available to users of Lync Server and/or as part of Office 2011 for Mac. Communicator for Mac will be available to volume licensing customers only, the Softies said.
I've got questions in about the future of the Silverlight Web-based Communicator client for Lync. I'm also wondering whether Microsoft still intends to federate Windows Live Messenger in both the Windows-based Lync Communicator client and the new Mac Lync Communicator client. I'll update this post if and when I hear back.
Update (September 27): Microsoft officials say there still will be a Silverlight Web client for Lync. They also are declining to say when testers will get the Mac Communicator client for Lync.
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Recently we released the new Lync client for the Macintosh platform and customers have asked if it will work for Lync Online and Office 365? Yes, but we will need to make two minor updates:
- First we will need to install the Microsoft Lync for Mac 2011 14.0.1 Update
- Second we will manually configure the sip server connections
Lync Client For Mac Download
- Enter your Office 365 username and password, making sure to include the full username including your domain. Then click on the “Advanced” settings to modify the connections settings
- Put in “sipdir.online.lync.com:443” for both the internal and external server name.
- Save the changes and proceed to sign in.