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    Last week Microsoft held it's annual Lync Conference in Las Vegas, USA.  During the keynote (which can be reviewed here) a few interesting announcements have been made.

    PSTN Calling for Office 365

    This feature has been requested a zillion times because this would allow an organization to move completely to the cloud while keeping all features and having no requirement for local infrastructure.... But not too fast here, except for the announcement that PSTN calling would come to the cloud somewhere in 2014, Microsoft provided no details at all.  This means that there are many open questions left:

    • supportability in all countries?
    • will we keep all enterprise voice features currently available on-premise?
    • pricing?
    • which Office 365 Plans will be supported?
    • will you be able to keep your current DID numbers?
    • etc

    I think it is too early to have a victory dance here, but it certainly is a good thing that Microsoft commits on delivering PSTN calling to O365!

    Large Meetings support for Office 365

    Right now you can have up to 250 attendees in a Lync Online Meeting (source: technet).  Microsoft announced that it will significantly increase the number of supported attendees for Lync Online Meetings.

    Lync 2013 for Android Tablets

    Currently there are only tablet versions of Lync for iPad and Windows 8.1.  Microsoft will be delivering a tablet client for Android in the near future. Here are a few screenshots already:

    Tandberg Interop

    Microsoft announced that the next version of Lync Server will include interop capabilities with Tandberg.  During the keynote a demo is shown where a Lync client initiates a video call with a Tandberg VTC Endpoint.

    Browser Extensibility with Lync Voice/Video

    This one is huge!  Microsoft announced it will extend the UCWA (Unified Communications Web Api) to support audio and video modalities in Lync. This means that every website can be extended to have a direct audio/video interface to Lync enabled users.  Just imagine a customer on your website being able to call your sales office straight from your website.

    This feature, sometimes called "JLync" (Javascript Lync) is said to be delivered using a CU for Lync Server 2013.

    During the keynote they demoed this on a healthcare website.

    Video Support for Federation with Skype

    Microsoft announced that step 2 of Skype federation integration will be made this year by adding Video support.  Currently only audio calls to the Skype network are supported.   There also was a complete deep dive session on how this Skype Video interop works, but that's probably subject for another blog post Smile

    Universal Communications

    Microsoft decided to rebrand from Unified Communications to Universal Communications because their view on communications expanded.  While Unified Communications is all about merging all communication modalities, Universal Communications is about having your communications universally available

    This also allows for some neat features/intelligence in the platform and during the Keynote Gurdeep gave an example: let's say you look up your next meeting with John A. in Outlook and then want to call him through your cell phone. Within Microsoft there are more than 500 John's, so it would be great that your phone provides the right John as first option, because it knows you just checked that Calendar item.  

    Personally I think we have seen nothing yet and I'm eager to see what innovations Microsoft will come up with in the near future!

     


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    Service Pack 1 for Microsoft Office 2013 contains new updates which improve security, performance, and stability. Additionally, the SP is a roll-up of all previously released updates

    Service Pack 1 for Microsoft Office 2013 (KB2817430) 64-Bit Edition
    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=42006&WT.mc_id=rss_alldownloads_servicepacks

    Service Pack 1 for Microsoft Office 2013 (KB2817430) 32-Bit Edition
    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=42017&WT.mc_id=rss_alldownloads_all

    This service package fixes the issues that are described in the following Microsoft Knowledge Base (KB) articles:

    • 2919506 Can't hear the first few words that a callee speaks when they answer a call in Lync 2013
    • 2919507 The "Program Events" sound setting is reset to the default value after you restart Lync 2013
    • 2919508 Can't rotate the screen orientation of a video window in a Lync 2013 video conference on a Windows 8.1-based device
    • 2919510 A pie chart clock icon appears in the "Conversations" tab as a meeting icon in Lync 2013
    • 2932389 Persistent Chat file transfer fails between an external user and an internal user in Lync 2013
    • 2933495 Memory leak occurs during a video call or when you rest the mouse pointer on a video icon in Lync 2013

     


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    As Johan reported earlier Office 2013 SP1 was released and includes a number of fixes for Lync 2013. Two minor details I wanted to add to this:

    Lync Build number was updated to 15.0.4569.1503

    Install Office Pro Plus through Office 365 includes SP1

    This morning I installed Office 2013 Pro Plus from the Office 365 Portal and it automatically installed SP1 with it.  Don't know for sure if the installer was updated with SP1 or SP1 gets installed after installing RTM.  I will check on this.


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    Microsoft Office Web Apps Server 2013 Service Pack 1 (SP1) provides the latest updates for Office Web Apps Server 2013. This service pack includes two kinds of fixes:

    • Previously unreleased fixes that are included in this service pack. In addition to general product fixes, these fixes include improvements in stability, performance, and security.
    • All the monthly security updates that were released through January 2014, and all the Cumulative Updates that were released through December 2013.

    Download Here

    Excel sheet with all changes

    Howto update Office Web Apps Server

    More Info (KB)

     

     


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    Microsoft has released an update for Microsoft Lync 2013. This update provides the latest fixes for Lync 2013. This update version is 15.0.4569.1508.
    Note To determine the version of Lync 2013, follow these steps:

    1. In Lync 2013, click the Options button.
    2. On the Help menu, click About Microsoft Lync.
    Issues that the update fixes

    This cumulative update resolves the following issue:

    2933495 Memory leak occurs during a video call or when you rest the mouse pointer on a video icon in Lync 2013

     

     

    Known issues

    After you install this update, you may experience the issues that are described in the following Microsoft Knowledge Base (KB) articles:

    • 2898357 Screen readers cannot read aloud keystrokes during a Lync 2013 application or desktop sharing session in Windows

    • 2932389 Persistent Chat file transfer fails between an external user and an internal user in Lync 2013

     

     

    Prerequisites

    To install this Lync 2013 update, make sure that the following updates are installed.

    MSO (KB2727096)

     

    MSORES (KB2817624)

     

    IDCRL (KB2817626)

     

    Lynchelp(KB2817678)

     

    How to obtain and install the update

    The following file is available for download from the Microsoft Download Center:
    32-bit Download the 32-bit Lyncloc update package now.

    64-bit Download the 64-bit Lyncloc update package now.

     

    More Information:
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2863908


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    During our Lync Conference 2014 session “Meetings & Media the detailed view (MEET400)” we explained what codecs are offered by the Lync 2013 Desktop Client, I figured this is something we need to blog about and here it is.

    When a Lync client starts a conversation with someone (user, phone or server) it will always send out the same codecs during initial codec negotiation.  The following slide demonstrates the codecs included in the SDP (Session Description Protocol) Offer that is included in the SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) INVITE message that is sent to the other party, the other party will respond with 183 Session Progress or 200 OK message that includes the remote party codecs in order for proper codec negotiation will be performed.  Please not that I am not explaining the STUN/TURN/ICE Process as I am focusing on the codecs only and stripped out none relevant information from the INVITE & SDP.

    The slide below shows what codecs are sent by the Lync client.  We can see this is an Audio call based on the m=audio string in the SDP, RTP/AVP means that we don’t require encryption (which is not default in Lync, RTP/SAVP would mean encryption required) and then there is a list of numbers, this list of number represents the order of codec preference.  The numbered list is also listed on the lines below with a=rtpmap what describes the different codecs.

    Now that we know about the preference we can look at the list of codecs and then we see G722/8000/2 listed as the most preferred codec which is not RTAudio.

    image

    If we look at this list there does seem to be a discrepancy between the logic one would expect from Lync to use always Wideband codecs as the most preferred codecs in the list.  Wideband codecs are take more frequencies from the sound spectrum and are listed as clock rate 16000.  Lets have a look at the codecs list again then we see a codec on top that has the specifications of a Narrowband codec “G722/8000/2”.  Now this does not seem right, Lync would prefer a codec that is not Wideband and prefer it above any other codec, clearly there must be something wrong here…

    And yes there is something wrong, it is not related to what Microsoft is doing and it is not the Lync client making this mistake, the reason why this is can be found in the following IETF RCP: http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc3551#section-4.5.2 (specifically looking at the second paragraph copied below)

    Even though the actual sampling rate for G.722 audio is 16,000 Hz, the RTP clock rate for the G722 payload format is 8,000 Hz because that value was erroneously assigned in RFC 1890 and must remain unchanged for backward compatibility. The octet rate or sample-pair rate is 8,000 Hz.

    image

    So our conclusion is that G722/8000/2 is a Wideband codec as is the G722/8000.  The only difference between these two codecs is that the first one is a Stereo codec used by Lync Room Systems what is prescribed with “/2” at the end and the second one is exactly the same codec but the Mono version. So life is still good because now we know all the upper codecs really are Wideband codecs.  All Wideband codecs are listed in Green and all Narrowband Codecs are listed in Red on the slide below.

    image

    Now lets look at all the different codecs what they actually mean:

    Wideband Codecs

    • G722/8000/2 : Wideband Stereo Codec used for Conferencing and used by Lync Room Systems (can be consumed by other Lync clients)
    • x-msrta/16000 : Wideband Codec RTAudio and the preferred codec for Peer to Peer communications
    • SILK/16000 : Wideband Codec used by Skype (added to the Lync Client with CU4 – November 2013) and will be used in Skype Federation V2 timeframe to communicate directly between Skype & Lync
    • G722/8000 : Wideband Codec used for Conferencing in Lync & Room Systems without Stereo Microphones
    • G7221/16000 : Wideband Codec based on Siren (not really sure when this codec is being used)
    • SIREN/16000 : Wideband Codec for primarily for Conferencing but will also be used in certain peer to peer scenario’s where a more flexible codec is required (when packet loss, low bandwidth and or round trip times are high)

    Narrowband Codecs

    • PCMU/8000 : Narrowband Codec used “u-law” for PSTN Calls in US & Japan
    • PCMA/8000 : Narrowband Codec used “a-law” for PSTN Calls in Europe
    • AAL2-G726-32/8000 : Narrowband Codec (did not find much information about this codec)
    • x-msrta/8000 : Narrowband Codec RTAudio and the preferred codec for doing PSTN Calls when calling from Internet or in bad network.
    • SILK/8000 : Narrowband Codec used by Skype (added to the Lync Client with CU4 – November 2013) and will be used in Skype Federation V2 timeframe to communicate directly between Skype & Lync
    • RED/8000 : Narrowband Codec used in Forward Error Correction scenario’s (other codecs also have FEC built into the codec like RTAudio, SILK and others)

    Comfort Noise

    • CN/8000 : Comfort Noise in scenario where no data is sent
    • CN/16000 : Comfort Noise in scenario where no data is sent

    Comfort Noise

    • telephone-event/8000 : Key (touch) tones used in PSTN calls to send keys pressed during a call

     

    image

     

    Conclusion: Lync supports many many codecs and they change over time and even when Updates are applied, so you can expect this list to change in the future.  If you want to know more about this then watch  our session of Lync Conference

     

    (MEET400) Meetings and Media - the detailed view
    http://www.lyncconf.com/SessionDetail.aspx?id=15146

     

    image


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    About Skype

    Skype is a global communication icon, THE brand name for internet calling.  The Luxemburg-based company was founded in 2003 and has been growing tremendously ever since.

    To get an idea on how big Skype is, some numbers:

    1.       300 million registered users

    2.       On average 65 million active online users

    3.       Currently 300 million of video calling minutes per day or 1.8 billion hours a year

    Impressive isn't it?

    But numbers are one thing, connecting people is what really matters.  When visiting Lync Conference 2014/Las Vegas last February, I used Skype to keep in touch with my wife and 2 young kids.  A great example of how a devoted Lync user still has to rely on a consumer client to connect with peers.  You can imagine that I can't wait for Lync - Skype video federation, so I can do this straight from my beloved Lync client Smile!

    The Acquisition

    On May 10, 2011 Microsoft announced that they would acquire Skype and on October 13, 2011 the deal was finalized and approved by regulators.  Microsoft payed around 8,5 billion for Skype, which is a huge amount of money but not a bad deal considering the fact that Facebook just bought WhatsApp for 19 Billion.  Both have a massive user base but Skype probably has a bit more technology to offer: voice codecs/technologies and experience with using voice on the public internet.  For Microsoft these are great assets and complementary with their Enterprise Communication solutions like Lync and Exchange.

    Skype Federation V1 : can you hear me?

    General

    To better understand what's new in Skype Federation V2, we will have a look on Skype Federation V1 and how it works.

    With the release of Skype client version 6.0, Skype to Lync federation version 1 (V1) was enabled.  Windows Live Messenger users needed to download the latest Skype client and merge their Microsoft account with their Skype account. All their Messenger buddies would be merged with their Skype contact list and the Messenger client was phased out gradually.

    V1 federation supported following features on both clients:  presence, peer-to-peer IM, adding contacts from both clients, peer-to-peer audio with holding and resuming calls.
    On the Lync client you can also block communication and transfer calls to a different Lync contact.

    Architecture


    Skype V1 Federation architecture. Source : Lync & Skype session on LyncConf13

    To make two voice systems work with each other, you need to solve two problems: signaling and codec compatibility.  Signaling allows two systems to exchange control information like call setup and media negotiation, codecs allow media to be encoded into a binary stream which can be send over the network. 

    Signaling

    For Skype federation with Lync, Microsoft reused the existing PIC federation infrastructure between Lync and Windows Live Messenger.  The great advantage of this approach was that existing PIC-enabled Lync deployments were ready for Skype federation at launch, without a change in configuration.

    The control channel between the Lync Edge server and the WLM Federation service in the Microsoft Cloud is a SIP/TLS channel. This means that the signaling protocol used is SIP, secured with TLS encryption.

    Note: that's why those certificates on the Lync Edge are very important: if one of both parties do not trust each other's certificate, TLS negotiation will fail and the connection is refused

    Now let's talk about the signaling protocol used between Skype and the Microsoft Federation Cloud. In the V1 architecture scheme taken from the Lync Conference 2013 session you can see that MSNP is referenced as the signaling protocol.  Either the Skype client is now using MSNP as the protocol for presence and IM, or there is some kind of interface between the Skype network and the MSNP gateway. (I'm currently checking on this)

    As a conclusion we can state that the "signaling gateway" in the Federation cloud is translating between SIP/TLS and the proprietary MSNP protocol, just like it did with Windows Live Messenger federation.

    Voice

    For voice interoperability there was a mismatch in codec and media negotiation on both clients. As a solution Microsoft created an audio gateway within the Microsoft Federation Cloud to resolve the media negotiation differences.

    In case Skype uses a different codec than G722 to talk to the Federation Cloud, transcoding between both codecs is also required. Transcoding is the process that receives a stream encoded with codec A, decodes the stream to a generic format, encodes it again with codec B and sends it out to the destination. Transcoding is a resource intensive process and always adds delay to a delay-sensitive audio stream. If two codecs with lossy compression are used, it also degrades quality since the second encoding process drops additional audio information.

    I'm currently checking which codecs Skype uses to talk to the Federation Cloud, but based on the V1 architecture schema I would believe this is G722.

    Codecs

    During call setup, both endpoints provide a list of their supported codecs to agree on the codec being used for the media stream.  Using Snooper tool we can easily retrieve this information within a SIP INVITE message from a Lync client to a Skype endpoint:

    The numbers in red indicate codec priority, the numbers in light blue are sample rate. 
    8000hz is considered narrowband quality, 16000 hz is considered wideband audio. 

    One exception is G722, due to an error in the RFC and backwards compatibility requirements it is always advertised as 8000hz while it is in fact 16000Hz wideband.

    For a Lync to Skype call, these codecs are advertised in order of preference:

    1.       G722 wideband 16000 Hz (advertised as 8000hz)

    2.       G711 narrowband U-Law 8000Hz

    3.       G711 narrowband A-Law 8000Hz

    4.       Microsoft's RT Audio narrowband 8000Hz

    As you can see in the following capture, Skype audio calls are using the G722 mono codec:

    Want to know more? Codecs used in Lync is the place to be.

    Connection Flow

    Skype Call to a Lync client inside the corporate network

    When a call is made between a Skype client and a Lync user in the internal corporate network, both media and control messages are flowing from the Lync client through the Edge server and the Microsoft Federation Cloud:

    To verify this I've made a network capture for a Skype to Lync call on our own Edge server. As you can see an UDP audio stream with the G722 codec is flowing between the AV Edge service (82.143.85.XX) and the Microsoft Federation cloud (134.170.96.XX).

    Skype Call to a Lync Client outside the corporate network

    When the Lync user is outside the corporate network, the Edge server is bypassed for media and a direct connection to the Microsoft Federation Cloud is created.

    Again we verify this by creating a network capture on the client, and as expected there now is a direct UDP G722 audio stream flowing between the Microsoft Federation cloud (134.170.96.XX) and the local Lync client (192.168.1.157).

    Important to know is that for this test call, both Skype and Lync were running on the same computer.  A direct connection between both clients would be preferred, but because of implementation and codec differences the Audio Gateway in the Microsoft Cloud is used to facilitate the call.

    Security

    Signaling information is encrypted as we are using SIP over TLS as the signaling protocol.

    The media stream is NOT encrypted:

    1.       In previous network captures we are able to retrieve the codec information & payload

    2.       during media negotiation RTP is advertised instead of Secure-RTP (SRTP)

    Note: This is the reason why you need to execute the command "Set-CsMediaConfiguration -EncryptionLevel SupportEncryption" on your Lync Servers to enable Skype federation. By default Lync only accepts encrypted media and by setting the EncryptionLevel to "SupportEncryption", encryption is preferred but not required. More info

    Conclusion

    1.       Skype Federation V1 enabled presence and peer-to-peer IM/audio with Lync

    2.       Lync to Skype federation V1 was completely based on the existing WLM Federation

    3.       All signaling traffic from Lync to the MS Federation cloud is SIP/TLS

    4.       All signaling traffic from Skype to the MS Federation cloud is proprietary MSNP

    5.       The MSNP Gateway in the Federation Cloud translates between signaling protocols

    6.       Media streams flow through an audio gateway in the Federation cloud

    7.       The audio gateway in the Federation Cloud does transcoding which increases latency

    8.       G722 is used between Lync and the Microsoft Federation cloud

    9.       Signaling is always encrypted, the media stream is not

    Skype Federation V2: I can see you!

    General

    Skype Federation V2 was announced during the excellent keynote on Lync Conference 2014. The feature catching the most attention was support for peer-to-peer video calling with Skype federation.  A nice demo was used to show off this new capability and I would recommend watching the keynote if case you haven't done so already.

    What is often forgotten is that from a technology perspective, a lot has happened on both products to make this work. Let's take the jump and dive deep into Skype Federation V2!

    Architecture

    This is the architecture for Skype federation V2

    Skype V2 Architecture

    The signaling architecture hasn't changed a lot: the Microsoft Federation cloud still has an MSNP gateway which translates between proprietary MSNP and SIP/TLS. 

    The biggest difference with V2 Federation is found at the media stack.  Both the Skype and Lync client now support each other's technologies allowing a peer-to-peer media connection.  As a result, the audio gateway within the Microsoft Federation cloud is no longer required for V2 calls.

    Signaling

    While from an architecture perspective not much has changed, the MSNP gateway in the Microsoft Federation cloud has received some improvements.  This version now supports V2 clients and forks incoming calls to both V1 and V2 clients.  (more about forking later)

    What also has changed is the Skype cloud itself. In an interview somewhere in December, Microsoft's cloud Chief Scott Guthrie stated that Skype now runs on Azure.  While we can only speculate on details, you can bet Microsoft redesigned the Skype cloud architecture so it makes use of the great and flexible architecture Azure has to offer.  Microsoft also invested in improved call setup and control capabilities within the Skype cloud.

    Audio Codec

    The reason why we did transcoding in the V1 federation was because media negotiation and codecs on both clients where not compatible.  In the last few months, Microsoft silently introduced the Skype specific SILK codec in Lync with the November 2013 Cumulative Update and an upcoming CU will enable compatibility with Skype. 

    If we take a look at the offered media codecs, SILK is available in both narrowband and wideband versions:

     

    In the opposite direction Skype will get support for Forward Error Correction. FEC is a technique currently used by Lync to improve audio quality on bad network connections. FEC adds additional packets with redundant control information so the receiving side can reconstruct the stream despite a higher degree of packet loss on the network.

    Note: Please note that Lync will only use the SILK codec for Skype to Lync federation calls.  While the SILK codec is known for its excellent quality to bandwidth ratio, it will not be used for Lync to Lync calls.
    Lync already has RTAudio support which is even a bit more efficient for bandwidth than SILK (in narrowband scenarios). Unfortunately I could not find any decent quality comparison between both.
    Right now we can only guess on how both codecs compare in real-life use cases as no real data is available. I speculate that Microsoft is currently testing this but if and when SILK will be considered as the primary narrowband codec is just guessing.

    Video Codec

    To be able to support peer-to-peer video between Skype and Lync, video compatibility between both clients is required.  Lync 2013 supports H264 Mode 1 and guess what... a future release of Skype will also introduce support for H264 Mode 1.

    Note: Many vendors only support H264 mode 0 while Lync's implementation of the layered H264 Mode 1 has many advantages. For an extensive and detailed deep dive on how H264 mode 1 works within Lync, I would recommend you to read Jeff Schertz's excellent blog post "video interoperability in Lync 2013".

    Just like with audio, both parties will negotiate a common video codec through the signaling protocols and if that would fail, the call is not established.  Future client releases will introduce compatibility and enable Skype video.

    Connection Flow

    Note: These connection flows will only be used when both Lync and Skype clients are a supported V2 version. If one of the clients is a "legacy" V1 client, the connectivity flow of V1 Federation will always be used.

    Skype Call to a Lync client inside the corporate network

    Compared to a V1 call there are 3 major differences:

    1.       Both clients now use the SILK codec and compatible media negotiation

    2.       As a consequence, transcoding within the Federation cloud is no longer required

    3.       Media traffic is now encrypted

    Using V2 we now have removed the transcoding hop in the connection which will result in lower delay and improved quality. On top of that our Skype to Lync call is now encrypted.

    Skype Call to a Lync Client outside the corporate network

    Because we now have two compatible clients, a peer-to-peer direct media path can be used if no firewalls are blocking the connection.  This results in the most optimized path between both endpoints.

    V1 and V2 Interoperability

    In a perfect world everybody would update their software soon after a new release is made available. Just looking at how much people still use Windows XP (upgrade guys!!), we all know that it can take a while before this actually happens. 

    For Skype federation this means that for a considerable amount of time both V1 and V2 clients will be out there.  How does Microsoft handle this?

    With calls FROM Lync TO Skype, the MSNP gateway in the Federation Cloud will fork the call to all registered endpoints (being V1 or V2).  If the Skype user takes the call on a V1 endpoint, only V1 capabilities will be supported for that call.  If the Skype user takes the call on a V2 endpoint, V2 capabilities like video will be available.

    Calls FROM Skype TO Lync are routed through the Skype cloud to the Lync Federation Edge service. V1 clients will make use of V1 Skype infrastructure components, while V2 clients will automatically make use of V2 Skype infrastructure.

    Enterprise NAT Traversal

    Another Lync technology that made it into Skype is support for NAT traversal techniques based on the ICEv19 protocol in combination with STUN and TURN.  These suites of protocols allow clients behind a NAT device to detect their public IP addresses and use it during connection setup.  For a detailed explanation of the process I will refer to Jeff Schertz with his great "STUN vs TURN" blog post.

    Dreaming about the future...

    Note: everything here is pure speculation and my personal wishlist. Neither of these features might actually make it sooner or later! Smile

    Multi-party support
    Right now only one-to-one calls are supported between Lync and Skype. It would be great to have mixed multi-party IM and audio/video calls support for federation.

    Conferencing support
    Wouldn't it be amazing that Skype users could join a Lync meeting and view shared content?

    SILK in Lync
    Not really required for me, but if intensive testing proofs that SILK has a much better quality than RTAudio while using about the same bandwidth, I would like to see it enabled for Lync to Lync calls

    Xbox One support
    Imaging seeing yourself in the couch in front of your Xbox One and issue the voice command "skype attend meeting".  2 seconds later the Xbox joined the meeting with your colleagues who are participating from a Lync Room System enabled meeting room at the office! Using Kinect gestures you switch between speaker views and meeting content.

    Bring it on!

    Sources

    Lync Blog: Lync Federation will continue as WLM transitions to Skype

    Skype numbers

    Skype on WikiPedia

    Skype & Lync session on Lync Conference 2013

    Skype & Lync session on Lync Conference 2014

    Matt Landis: Some Thoughts on Skype & Federation

    Matt Landis: Breaking, Skype to Lync Connectivity is live today

     


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    Lync Meeting presenters: this Lync update is for you!  The most common feature request from our users is that they want the modern app to have more of the features available in the desktop app.  We continue to listen to feedback and starting today, you can now manage your meeting participants from the modern Lync app. 


    More info @ Lync Team Blog

     


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    If you're a data networking professional and you take part in the planning, design, and deployment of the Lync Unified Communications (UC) solution in the enterprise, this on-demand training can be of great help to you. The course focuses on four key areas:  implementation methodology, network environment analysis, usage modeling, and customer data/measurements analysis.

    This exam can also be considered as part of your preparation for the 74-335 exam.

    Get it here

    Want more? Please check my previous post for 80+ hours of Lync Video Training


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    Finally, OS X Maverick Support!!

    Issues that the update fixes

    The update resolves the following issues:

    Source: Lync for Mac 14.0.8 Released on Richard Schwendiman's Technet Blog

    Knowledge Base Article: KB2952672

    Download Here


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    Microsoft has released an update for Microsoft Lync 2013 64-Bit Edition. This update provides the latest fixes to Microsoft Lync 2013 64-Bit Edition. Additionally, this update contains stability and performance improvements.

    Cumulative update package for Lync 2013: April 2014
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2880474/en-us

    Microsoft has released an update for Microsoft Lync 2013. This update provides the latest fixes for Lync 2013. This update version is 15.0.4605.1003.
    Note To determine the version of Lync 2013, follow these steps:

    1. In Lync 2013, click the Options button.
    2. On the Help menu, click About Microsoft Lync.

     

    This cumulative update resolves the following issues:

    • 2941631 Cannot drag a distribution group to change position in your contact list in Lync 2013
    • 2941639 Call forwarding to the Response Group fails in Lync 2013
    • 2941640 Desktop sharing session stops in Lync 2013 when all screen data is updated
    • 2941643 Caller cannot close the window of a transferred call in Lync 2013
    • 2941654 Update sorts and searches contacts by Furigana in Lync 2013
    • 2941658 CTRL+TAB does not work when you switch between conversation windows in Lync 2013
    • 2941682 Instant message appears using incorrect text format when the DisableRTFIM setting is enabled in Lync 2013
    • 2941659 Callee's name and detailed information is missing from the conversation history of a Lync 2013 outgoing call
    • 2941636 Search fails in Lync 2013 when non-Latin characters are used in a different case from the AD DS attributes
    • 2941635 Can’t sign in to Lync 2013 when Office 365 account UPN differs from domain account UPN
    • 2954951 Slow screen update in application sharing or desktop sharing session in Lync 2013
    • 2955577 Lync 2013 takes a long time to sign in after reconnect to the network
    • 2955579 Lync 2013 displays un-encoded texts in a toast notification or an instant message sent to another messaging client
    • 2955580 Update adds a button to show details about limited functionalities when Lync 2013 connects to a backup pool

     


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    This cumulative update improves the reliability, stability, and performance of Lync Phone Edition

    Version:
    7577.4444

    Microsoft Lync Phone Edition for HP 4110 and HP 4120
    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=28158

    Microsoft Lync Phone Edition for Polycom CX700 and LG-Nortel IP Phone 8540
    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=21644

    Microsoft Lync Phone Edition for Polycom CX500, Polycom CX600 and Polycom CX3000
    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=23866

    Microsoft Lync Phone Edition for Aastra 6721ip and Aastra 6725ip
    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=18390


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    Lync 2013 Mobile Client
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.microsoft.office.lync15

    What’s new in version 5.4:

    • Tablet support (excludes Tegra2 based devices)
    • Add participants into an ongoing conversation (IM or Lync Meeting)
    • Start an ad-hoc group conversation
    • Security improvements through tightened SSL validation. If you have trouble logging in, please notify your Lync Administrator and suggest that they visit http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2965499.
    • Bug fixes

     

    Lync 2013 - screenshot

     

    Description

    You need to have a Lync account already to use this app. Also, some functionality might require an update to Lync Server or might not be available to all users. If you’re not sure about your account status, please contact your IT department.

    Lync 2013 for Android extends the power of Lync to your mobile device – including voice & video over wireless, rich presence, instant messaging, conferencing, and calling features from a single, easy-to-use interface.

    Key Features:

    • View colleagues’ availability in real time and select the best way to communicate – initiating an instant message (IM), email, voice or video call.
    • Connect to Lync Meetings with a single touch, without requiring long numeric passcodes or conference numbers.
    • Forward or simultaneously ring calls to your Enterprise Voice (Lync ID) number so you’ll never miss a call.
    • Lync 2013 for Android provides transport layer security (TLS) and perimeter/internal network protection without requiring a VPN, so your communications experience is safer no matter where you are or what network you use.

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    Checkout this new whitepaper on Managing Large and Structured Meetings with Lync 2013.

    Microsoft Lync Server 2013 and the Microsoft Lync 2013 desktop client are very capable collaboration tools, easily handling meetings among several online parties. Microsoft Lync 2013 can also handle larger meetings. However, to ensure a successful larger meeting one needs to adopt a structured approach for the meeting and plan ahead very carefully. This white paper discusses the process for planning such meetings and describes best practices used by the Microsoft Lync Product Group when holding many successful structured meetings.

    image

     

    clip_image002

    clip_image002<img src=" border="0" style="border-top:0px;border-right:0px;background-image:none;border-bottom:0px;padding-top:0px;padding-left:0px;border-left:0px;display:inline;padding-right:0px;" title="clip_image002Devil" />


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    You can Schedule Lync Meetings when you are not connected to the Internet.  While this will not work in all situations it depends on the configuration of your Lync deployment.

     

    First off all the following settings must be configured Get-CsMeetingConfiguration:

    AssignedConferenceTypeByDefault

    True

    Determines whether new meetings will be configured, by default, as public meetings. Set this value to True to use public meetings by default; set this value to False to use private meetings by default. The default value is True.

         

    EnableAssignedConferenceType

    True

    Indicates whether users are allowed to schedule public meetings. With a public meeting, the conference ID and the meeting link remain consistent each time the meeting is held. With a private meeting, the conference ID and meeting link change from meeting to meeting.

    This means that you will schedule meetings that have the same meeting ID & URL all the time unless you change some of the meeting options.  While this is not a good security practice it may give you more flexibility.

    Secondly you need to use Outlook and You must have scheduled at least one Online Meeting.  Then Outlook Online Meeting Add-In will cache the following information about all the settings required to schedule the Default meeting.

    image

    And voila you can now schedule Lync meetings when Offline

    image


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    Updated June 2014 - Lync Server is a real-time unified communications application that relies on an optimized network infrastructure to deliver high-quality media sessions. This guide provides a model for managing the network infrastructure for Lync Server 2010 and Lync Server 2013—planning, monitoring, and troubleshooting.

    Download Here:
    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=39084

    An updated version of the Networking Guide is now available including the new Microsoft Call Quality Methodology Scorecard for Lync Server. This scorecard should be used to implement the Lync Call Quality Methodology or CQM as outlined in Appendix C. CQM is a holistic way to systematically define and assert call quality based upon the methods outlined in the Networking Guide. CQM divides a Lync implementation into ten discrete areas that impact quality, defining targets and a remediation plan for each one. CQM is a framework to tackle call quality problems – you can modify or extend it to address the particular conditions on your network. Appendix D includes techniques to troubleshoot poor streams that CQM surfaces.

    The Networking Guide download now includes the list of Lync Server 2010 and an updated list of Lync Server 2013 KHIs to validate server health, a complete set of CQM queries, and a PowerShell script file to collect KHI data.

    Lync Server communications software is a real-time unified communications application that enables peer-to-peer audio and video (A/V) calling, conferencing, and collaboration and relies on an optimized, reliable network infrastructure to deliver high-quality media sessions between clients. This guide provides a model for managing the network infrastructure for Lync Server 2010 and Lync Server 2013, consisting of three phases—planning, monitoring, and troubleshooting. These phases can apply to new Lync Server deployments or to existing deployments. In new Lync Server deployments, your organization must begin from the planning phase. In existing deployments, your organization can start at the planning phase for major upgrades or for integrating new sites into the Lync Server ecosystem. Organizations with existing deployments can also begin from the monitoring or troubleshooting phases, if you are trying to achieve a healthy state.

     

    More Info
    TechEd NA 2014 session http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/TechEd/NorthAmerica/2014/OFC-B347#fbid

     


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    Apart from the usual fixes and minor updates, the June Update contains one major new feature, Room PC View. We added Room PC View to add functionality to improve the content capture experience for a computer that is always connected in the Lync Room System.

    More Info
    http://blogs.office.com/2014/06/16/lync-room-system-june-update-now-available-new-room-pc-view/

     


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    During my session @ Lync Conference 2014 I already explained this, but I sometimes get questions how to actually do this.
    http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Lync-Conference/Lync-Conference-2014/MEET400-R

    If you want to see what Codec Lync is using in real time, you can turn to Network Monitor (or Wireshark) to find out what Lync is using at a specific time.  The Lync codec can change based on Network conditions so there is no guarantee that the codec will remain the same throughout the session.

     

    Looking at the internal traffic Lync uses RTP to send the Audio and Network Monitor recogizes the Codec automatically (in this case PCMU which is G7.11 uLaw)

    image

     

    When a client connects from internet through the EDGE Server the packets are no longer recognized as RTP Packets and Network Monitor does not show the Codec being used and just shows as UDP.  The UDP Payload is recognized as a TurnForwardData packet but that does not help us a lot.

    image

     

    In order to find out what codec is being used by inside the TurnForwardDataUDP Packet you can select the HEX Details and Right Click and choose “Decode As…

    image

    Expand the Protocols tree and type “RTP

    image

    Now select and press OK

    image

    Now Network Monitor will Decode the packet as RTP and display the information in the RTP Packet, in this case you can clearly see that the Codec is G7.22 which is primarily used in Audiocoferencing in Lync.

    image

    Hope this helps


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    Microsoft today released Lync Server 2013, Cumulative Update 5 (August 2014).

    Download here: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=36820&751be11f-ede8-5a0c-058c-2ee190a24fa6
    More Information: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2809243/en-us

    Note that this update also contains an update for the Windows Fabric which has to be installed on both Standard Edition and Enterprise Edition Front-End servers.

    The cumulative update resolves the following issues:

    • 2976568
      (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2976568/ )
      Address book delta files are not generated in a Lync Server 2013 Enterprise Edition environment
    • 2967626
      (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2967626/ )
      Error "creating procedure RtcResetAbAttributes" when you run "Install-CsDatabase" for rtcab database in Lync Server 2013
    • 2967629
      (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2967629/ )
      Significant bandwidth usage increase by SIP traffic in a Lync Server 2013 environment
    • 2967630
      (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2967630/ )
      Callee receives a missed call notification after answering a call on an IP telephone in a Lync Server 2013 environment
    • 2979931
      (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2979931/ )
      Error "I can't find the meeting with that number" when PSTN user dials in to conference in Lync Server 2013 environment 
    • 2978444
      (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2978444/ )
      Update for Lync Server 2013 to disable Lync Web App users’ ability to upload and show PPT in online meetings
    • 2976906
      (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2976906/ )
      Incorrect time zone is displayed when you create a meeting by using Web Scheduler in a Lync Server 2013 environment
    • 2967623
      (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2967623/ )
      Error "This content cannot be displayed" or blank webpage when you click a dial-in URL in a Lync Server 2013 environment
    • 2967624
      (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2967624/ )
      HD video stutters in a Lync Server 2013 based video conference in Lync 2013
    • 2967628
      (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2967628/ )
      Telephone numbers are missing in a contact card in a Lync Server 2013-based Lync mobile client
    • 2967621
      (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2967621/ )
      Error 404 when Lync phones sign in to Lync Server 2013 front-end servers during SBS failure recovery
    • 2967631
      (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2967631/ )
      Error ""DistributionGroupAddress" and "AgentsByUri" must be set." when you migrate the RG service to Lync Server 2013
    • 2983199
      (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2983199/ )
      "Limited functionality is available due to outage" in Lync client when Lync Server 2013 replication queue is full
    Enjoy!

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    Download the update
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2881070/

     

    Prerequisites

    To install this Lync 2013 update, make sure that the following updates are installed:

    MSO (KB2883052, August 2014)

    Download the 32-bit MSO update package now.

    Download the 64-bit MSO update package now.

     

    MSORES (KB2817624, September 2013)

    Download the 32-bit MSORES update package now.

    Download the 64-bit MSORES update package now.

     

    IDCRL (KB2817626, September 2013)

    Download the 32-bit IDCRL update package now.

    Download the 64-bit IDCRL update package now.

     

    Lynchelp (2881083, August 2014)

    Download the 32-bit Lynchelploc update package now.

    Download the 64-bit Lynchelploc update package now.

     

    This update resolves the following issues:

    • 2985514 Lync 2013 signs out and then signs in every 30 minutes

    • 2985513 Lync 2013 crashes when you manipulate a pivot table field during an Excel worksheet presentation

    • 2985512 Error "Event ID from source Lync cannot be found" instead of event logs from Lync 2013 appears in Event Viewer

    • 2981755 Cannot join a meeting by using Lync 2013 when the ACP MCU services are running on multiple front-end servers

    • 2981754 Cannot send CER data when a user cannot join meetings in Lync 2013

    • 2981753 Lync 2013 meeting issues after you install Lync Meeting Add-in for Office 2013

    • 2981752 Cannot select audio device during a VoIP call in Lync 2013 when a user is enabled for RCC

    • 2981751 Lync 2013 does not display telephone number of an Outlook 2010 contact in the contact card

    • 2981750 An update enables Lync 2013 users to select the default unselected check boxes for saving instant message and call logs

    • 2981749 Artifacts remain in chat input area in Lync 2013 after an instant message is sent

    • 2981748 Lync 2013 dials the number that calls are forwarded to instead of the last dialed number

    • 2981747 A user's work number is listed in the "Forward Calls To" list in Lync 2013

    • 2981746 Cannot paste data from a webpage to Lync 2013 conversation window

    • 2981745 Can’t join online meeting that is created in a non-federated organization by using Lync 2013

    • 2981743 Can't sign in to Lync 2013 by using a cached certificate in Lync online hybrid deployment


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