Monday, March 3, 2014

Comparing Lync Online client software

You can connect to Lync Online via a number of different clients. You can use a web browser all the way up to the full client that comes with Office 2013 Professional Plus but what happens if you are using an Office 365 plan that DOESN’T include Office 2013 Professional Plus as a desktop download (like say a stand alone Lync plan)?

In that case you’ll be able to download and install just the Lync client software but beware, because in this case what you’ll get as a download is Lync Basic NOT the full Lync client.

If you refer to this document:

Clients for Lync Online

You will note that it says in the foot note under the Client features for stand alone plans [my emphasis added]:

The Lync 2013 client is supported for use with these subscription options, but it is not included. To access multiparty video (gallery view), OneNote meeting notes, recording, and calendar delegation features, users must have rights to the full Lync 2013 client. You can obtain the full Lync 2013 client by purchasing Office 2013 Professional Plus.

So what doesn’t Lync Basic provide then? Here’s the list:

  • Advanced call features: team ring, call forwarding, simultaneous ring, voice mail, call park, call delegation, response groups, and remote call control (not available with all Office 365 subscriptions)
  • Calendar delegation
  • Gallery video view
  • OneNote sharing
  • Recording
  • Skill search (not available with Office 365)
  • Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) (not available with Office 365)

These items are probably not an issue for most people but the big one that is missing from Lync Basic for me is the ability to record a meeting.

So if you have Lync Online and you DON’T have Office 2013 Professional Plus on the desktop make sure you understand the limits of what your chosen Lync client software can and can’t do. Just for reference here is a table of exactly what each Lync client can and can’t do:

Lync Client comparison tables