Two weeks ago I mentioned Lync 15, the next version of Microsoft Lync Server.

There’s been some discussion about Lync 15, but not a whole lot. We’re still in the dark about a lot of specifics. Which isn’t too surprising – it looks like a 2013 release anyway!

Still, I did find some information among fellow UC blogs and Microsoft sites. It gives some background on where we might see the next Lync Server going.Lync 15 Preview Screenshot

What I Found: Lync 15 in Preview, Early-Stage Jobs

This MSDN Protocol Document lists a Lync Server 15 Technical Preview.

A Lync 15 client can be found among a select-customers-only Office 15 Technical Preview release, documented at the SuperSite for Windows. (Teensy screenshot on the right.)

I found this in a Volume Licensing brief:

Customers who purchased an OCS Enterprise CAL or the ECAL Suite before July 1st 2009 and maintained active SA have access rights equivalent to those rights under the Lync Server Plus CAL for two releases, Lync Server 2010 and the next future release tentatively named Lync Server “15”. Customers need to separately renew SA for Lync Server Plus CAL at their first renewal period after the Lync Server “15” release in order to maintain their SA benefits. This grandfathering policy addresses concerns about the transition and provides sufficient time for deployment and budgeting.

And lastly, I looked through a bunch of the job descriptions on MS Careers for “Lync 15.” I found these lines in some of them:

  • “We are at the very early stage of our next release cycle.”
  • “Lync covers a broad array of technologies, ranging from peer to peer networking, client/server infrastructure, online hosted service and devices.”
  • “Expert level knowledge in design patterns is a plus.”
  • “Your work will have a broad impact on multiple products like Lync, Office 365, Exchange, and offerings on popular mobile platforms.”

6 Thoughts on Lync Server 15: Where It’s Going, What to Watch Out For

So given the scattered tidbits of information, I’ll list out a few thoughts on Lync Server 15.

  1. Lync 15 is part of the Office 15 suite, and may even be released before Lync Server 15. That would suggest a continued trend of backward compatibility.
  2. Lync 15 will use the Metro interface from Windows 8. Not sure how I feel about this one. You?
  3. There are over 200 jobs posted to MS Careers for Lync 15. Some are developers, some are project managers. If nothing else, the expansion shows how popular Lync Server has become.
  4. Mobile is a priority for Lync Server 15. Lync 2010 for Mobile came about after the original server was released. But the mobile craze gained a lot of traction after the original server release. Microsoft simply adapted. From what I can tell, they’ve put mobile as a top-level priority for 15.
  5. So is the cloud. Mary-Jo Foley said in April that Lync Server 15 will stay on-premises. But a cloud-only service certainly seems like an option, with the talk of “online hosted service.”
  6. Microsoft must be very careful not to break interoperability with their partners’ add-ons. Polycom, HP…lot of big names have developed solutions extending Lync. If Lync 15 doesn’t continue on that path, it’ll self-destruct. (Not that I think it will!)

What else have you heard about Lync Server 15?

The Status on Lync Server 15: Speculation and Technical Previews
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