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Microsoft Lync (formerly Microsoft Office Communicator) and Microsoft Lync for Mac are instant messaging clients used with Microsoft Lync Server or Lync Online available with Microsoft Office 365 and Live@Edu. They are replacements for Windows Messenger which was used with Microsoft Exchange Server.

Microsoft Lync is a client and server mechanism facilitating online collaboration -real time and asynchronous exchange. Key services offered by this technology include:

  • presence and status (are you there? what are you doing?)
  • message exchange (text)
  • file exchange
  • audio and video exchange (AV, telephony is possible)
  • desktop sharing
  • virtual meeting/work spaces
  • routing and mode switching (where are you? how do I connect to you?)
  • interaction with other services instant messaging and conferencing services, including Skype.

The server side of Lync integrates with Microsoft Active Directory (AD) and Microsoft Exchange (Exchange -email and calendar services), and so is aware of organisation structure (if this has been encoded in the directory), schedules, activity, groups, and contact information.

The client side is a software item that can be installed on Windows, MacOS, iOS and Android platforms, which includes tools for AV capture, desktop sharing, directory search, etc. Lync can also be accessed through web application with similar functionality o the native Windows client. Lync users sign in using their AD credentials.


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