Microsoft today announced the release candidate of Microsoft Lync, the next generation of Microsoft?s unified communications software, as well as the new LifeCam Studio, featuring high-definition (HD) video with a 1080p sensor.
Lync is the new family brand for the products formerly known as Communications Server, Communications Online and Communicator, and it also now includes Lync Web App, and Lync Online. The release candidates of Lync 2010 and Lync Server 2010 are now available for businesses of all sizes to try for free. They can be downloaded at http://technet.microsoft.com/evalcenter/ff808407.aspx. This broad release candidate is the last step toward release to manufacturing and general availability scheduled for later this year.
"Lync delivers on this vision by unifying enterprise voice, instant messaging and web-, audio- and videoconferencing into a new, connected communications experience," said Gurdeep Singh Pall, corporate vice president of Unified Communications at Microsoft.
Microsoft Lync can make every engagement a virtual face-to-face meeting, because any interaction can include video and audio conferencing, application and desktop sharing, instant messaging, and telephony. Lync has been designed from the ground up to work with Microsoft Office, SharePoint and Exchange,. People can also stay connected to others on a wide range of devices while away from the office and manage their communications and calls in new ways, such as moving a call from a PC to a mobile device while leaving the office without disrupting the conversation.
In addition, today Microsoft's partners announced beta versions of their Lync-compatible hardware, software and service products. Hardware products include a variety of Internet protocol phones and USB endpoints optimized for Lync. Software solutions include contact centers, call recording, accounting and new applications that incorporate communications right within business processes. Routing services work with Lync to allow companies to meet United States E-911 requirements for all U.S.-based workers, regardless of location.
Microsoft Lync is on schedule to become generally available in 2010.
Microsoft also today announced the release of the LifeCam Studio camera, featuring high-definition (HD) video with a 1080p sensor. Microsoft?s newest LifeCam is the perfect complement to Windows Live Messenger 2011, which will offer HD video calling in a 16:9 widescreen format.
LifeCam is Microsoft?s first webcam with a 1080p sensor. The sensor is more than twice as large as the 720p HD sensors on the market and lets more light in so people experience great video in virtually any lighting condition.
The launch of Microsoft?s latest HD LifeCam followsMicrosoft's recent announcement that Windows Live Messenger 2011 will support HD video calling this fall.
In addition to a high-quality video picture, LifeCam Studio features an industrial design. The new webcam is Microsoft?s first to feature a tripod thread, perfect for recording long video captures from different angles ? not only in front of the monitor. LifeCam Studio also includes these features:
- A 360-degree view range, which means that users can easily point the camera at themselves or around the room ? no need to pick up an entire laptop and turn it around.
- An elongated hood modeled after a high-end camera to help protect the lens from stray light to avoid washed-out colors.
LifeCam Studio features premium optics, with improved Auto Focus to keep objects in focus no matter how far the distance from the LifeCam, and a high-precision glass element lens for high clarity. It also includes the TrueColor Technology for bright and colorful video in virtually any lighting condition and the ClearFrame Technology, which helps keep video smooth and detailed even in low light.
LifeCam Studio will be available exclusively at Best Buy stores later this month for the estimated retail price of $99.954 and is available on BestBuy.com starting today. Microsoft backs this product with a worldwide three-year limited hardware warranty.