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MS Being Flexible to Work with Apple Platform

on December 10, 2014

Microsoft’s latest announcement about updates to its Lync for Mac Unified Relevant Products/Services Communications Platform shows Microsoft’s interest in making its service offerings better, more flexible, and more compatible with Apple’s platform. A recent article on CIO Today discussed these new developments in the light of three major additions – media resiliency, conversation history, and improved support for the Apple OS X Yosemite operating system.

Microsoft’s latest announcement about updates to its Lync for Mac Unified Communications Platform shows Microsoft’s interest in making its service offerings better, more flexible, and more compatible with Apple’s platform. A recent article on CIO Today discussed these new developments in the light of three major additions – media resiliency, conversation history, and improved support for the Apple OS X Yosemite operating system.

For those who are not familiar with Microsoft’s Lync, the article defines it as: “an enterprise Relevant Products/Services-oriented platform for unified communications (UC). It enables users to communicate securely with colleagues and customers, from wherever they work on a variety of different devices, including desktop PCs, laptops, tablets, and phones. Lync offers multi-party HD video conferencing and unified management tools to simplify IT administration.” These recent updates from Microsoft are good news for Apple users. Let’s explore why.

Media Resiliency

With regards to new Lync features, Barak Manor, product manager for Microsoft's Lync team, recently wrote: "No network Relevant Products/Services is perfect, of course, and we all want the best possible experience when hiccups happen." He further pointed out that this is why Media Resiliency has been added, to improve peer-to-peer calls and Lync Meetings.

The new feature will allow users to re-join a meeting, or reconnect a peer-to-peer call in case of a network disruption, as long as network connectivity is re-established within 30 seconds. Moreover, this new feature will support media connection for peer-to-peer calls, even if the connectivity with Lync Server or Lync Online is somehow broken. That means users can continue voice calls even without the presence information.

Conversation History

In the new release, Microsoft has also added new features for tracking conversation history. Previously, Lync for Mac could keep a record of Lync conversations locally on the Mac, but not in Microsoft Exchange. The new update will make it possible to store conversation history in Exchange, as well as locally, while offering added security. The new option to store conversations can be accessed from the new ‘conversation history’ tab. The feature not only makes it easy for users to view their entire conversation history from multiple devices but also streamlines the compliance activities for administrators.    

OS X Yosemite Support

The new version of Lync for Mac offers additional support to OS X Yosemite platform by improving the ten previous updates that were made. Some important features worth noting that have been added over the past two years include:  

·       Dynamic video camera selection during calls

·       USB peripheral device support for headsets

·       Speakerphones and cameras

·       E-911 and location awareness

·       Reduced dormancy

·       Better control and management of delegation for boss/admin scenarios

·       Better integration with Office 365, including configuration auto discovery and visibility of Audio Conferencing Provider callers in the Lync Meeting roster

·       Quality of Experience (QOE) reporting to the server Relevant Products/Services or Office 365 after each call

The new release is available for download on Microsoft Support's website.

As Microsoft plans to continue adding new features to its Lync for Mac platform, it will be interesting to watch the tech rivals play together. Earlier this year, in another show of compatibility, Microsoft made its Office suite free to be used on Apple iPad, indicating another, more flexible approach to working with Apple.

What do you think about Microsoft’s moves to improve UC services for Apple platforms? Share your thoughts with us.