Category Archives: Mac

Update 14.0.5 for Lync for Mac 2011 Released – More Voice Enhancements

Whilst I was away at TechEd North America, another new update for Lync for Mac 2011 was announced by Microsoft, further closing the gap between the Windows and Mac clients.

The big-hitting improvements I’ve identified are:

  • Visual voicemail in the Phone tab.
  • Client recording notification (you’ll see a “Others are recording” notification when someone else starts recording the call or conference).
  • Delegate (boss/admin) functionality (no team-call group control yet though).
  • Call history is now displayed in addition to IM history within the Conversation History window.
  • Local ringback tone for outgoing PSTN calls.

I haven’t had a chance to download and install this update yet (combination of now running Windows 8 on my MacBook Air and getting a Surface Pro), but will write up a full First Look post when I get a chance.

Further information and examples of new functionality are available on Nexthop and you can download it directly from Microsoft Support.

Update 14.0.4 for Lync for Mac 2011 Released – Now makes ALL USB audio devices work

Here it is. A public release of an update for Lync for Mac 2011 that supports all USB devices that have Optimised for Lync stickers on them. This means you can go and download it yourself without calling Microsoft Support and start using your Jabra headsets, Plantronics speakerphones and any other Optimised for Lync device you have. Great news for a Friday!

In case you were wondering, here’s the list of Phones and Devices Qualified for Lync that you can now use.

This update also fixes some video, desktop sharing and sign-in issues.

For further information and to download the update, check out the Microsoft KB article.

Update 14.0.3 for Lync for Mac 2011 fixes issues on some USB audio devices

I recently got my hands on the latest 14.0.3 update for Lync for Mac 2011 which allows certain USB devices to work better with the client. Unfortunately it’s not a free-for-all patch, so you need to contact Microsoft Customer Support Services and requested the hotfix be sent to you. Anyway, let me tell you more about it.

As per the Microsoft KB article, this update introduces the following improvements for Lync for Mac 2011:

  • Improvement of audio quality
  • Improvement of headset functionality
  • Improvement of audio device support

Which audio devices might you ask? These ones:

  • Polycom CX300
  • Plantronics Calisto 800 and 540 series
  • Logitech B530
  • Jabra Pro 9450
  • Sennheiser DW Office
  • Microsoft LifeCam Studio

It’s important to note that only the above devices are tested to work with this update. Let’s look at the improvements to the client and what the user experience looks like. Continue reading

Lync for Mac 2011 14.0.2 Update Available

A bit late to the party I know. 🙂 I was in Turkey all last week so didn’t get a chance to write about this earlier.

Last Monday, Microsoft released a new update (14.0.2) to Lync for Mac 2011 that fixed a few issues, one which I’ve been keeping an eye on for a while and that many on the TechNet forums reported – problems with the Cisco AnyConnect VPN client.

Secondly, this update fixes scenarios where the client might unexpectedly sign out or crash. Sensational. I’ve definitely experienced this first hand so this is a welcome update to improve stability.

To update your client just open Office Updates and it’ll do it for you. Easiest way is from within Lync, click Help then Check for Updates. Alternatively, you can download the patch manually.

For more information and a download link, check out the Microsoft Support KB article here.

MUCUG London October Review and Lync for Mac Update

Our October MUCUGL event was on on last Thursday night, which happened at the Polycom EBC in Old Broad St.

We had a modest turn out, which made for a more personal event giving everyone an opportunity to mingle and share war stories. Polycom came to the party in a big way, providing lots of refreshments and snacks. They also demonstrated all their Microsoft video integration scenarios along with the impressive Immersive Telepresence rooms.

Jeff Schertz delivered a great presentation on Audio/Video Conferencing with Lync and Polycom. He went into lots of detail on video components, the difference between QCIF, CIF, VGA and HD video resolutions and how this all relates to Lync.

I also gave my presentation on the new Lync for Mac 2011 client, where I talked about the Mac story so far and what the new client looks like. The slides are available for viewing below on Slide Share.

Tom also gave an update on the community as a whole and spoke about Skype, Windows Mobile and CEBP. All the other sets of slides can be viewed on the MUCUG London blog and you can check out the audience feedback we received.

An update for Lync for Mac

Last Friday an update was released by Microsoft to fix the Office 365 and certificate issues on OS X.  More info is available in the blog post from the Office for Mac team here. Technical info is in the Microsoft KB article here and this page includes a link to download if you’d rather not wait for Microsoft AutoUpdate to do its thing.

Lync for Mac 2011 crashes on OSX Lion 10.7.2

I observed this problem recently on my own Mac, where Lync would crash with the latest patch applied (10.7.2) and it had me stumped. I’d updated to take advantage of iCloud with iOS5 on my iPhone, and it killed Lync on me. 🙁

Fortunately, Apple man of wizardry Mark Coughlan has posted an awesome fix for this problem over on his tech blog, which turns out to be caused by some certificate keychain in OSX. Check it out here.

Lync for Mac 2011 – A First Look

Two weeks ago I announced that the Lync for Mac 2011 client was coming and got super excited.  Today, Lync for Mac 2011 became available through Microsoft Volume Licensing and thus generally available to most.

I’ve downloaded and installed it on my MacBook Air running OSX Lion and can now provide a first look at the new Lync client experience for Mac.

What’s New

What isn’t new? This client looks almost completely different to the old Communicator for Mac second class citizen. It feels A LOT more like the Lync client on Windows.

Incoming call/IM notification

Firstly, the incoming call/IM toast looks totally different. We now have a much more “Lync” looking toast going on, with the user’s name and title listed, number they called on and a preview of the IM.

Lync for Mac 2011 - Incoming call toast

We can now also deflect incoming calls to voicemail, mobile, reply with IM or set to DND. Can I get a hell yeah?

Lync for Mac 2011 - Redirect call to mobile


We can see from the IM session below that photos are now visible in Lync. This is something I think that is a real perception changer for Lync. I know it was one of the first things I noticed about the new client back when I saw previews of Wave 14, so it’s great to see the same experience on Mac.

Lync for Mac 2011 - IM conversation

Unfortunately, we can’t specify an internet URL for our photo though. Only the default corporate photo from AD or no photo at all is configurable. And yes, I have checked the Photos option in my Client Policy on Lync. 😉

Lync for Mac 2011 - Photos in Preferences

Call Control

We now have call forwarding options available in Preferences. This experience is the same as that in the Lync client on Windows, and means Mac users have the same control over incoming calls as Windows users.

Lync for Mac 2011 - Call forwarding options

Online Meetings

This is where the big improvements have been made. The Lync for Mac 2011 client can now join and create online meetings created by Lync, no more Web Scheduler!

Meet Now

From the menu bar, I can now create a meeting on the fly and select Meet Now.

Scheduling an Online Meeting

Now directly from Outlook for Mac 2011, we can schedule online meetings. Be aware this requires the 14.1.3 update (Service Pack 1) for Office for Mac 2011.

From the New Meeting screen in Outlook, I click the Online Meeting button in the ribbon and select Create Online Meeting.

Outlook then populates the meeting request with the meeting details from Lync, ready to send to your participants:

Joining an Online Meeting

Once I click Join online meeting in the meeting invite, my default browser fires up and accesses the simple URL on the Lync Server:

After this, Lync for Mac 2011 opens and joins the online meeting. Yeah I know, I’m deep in thought in this screencap.

Lync for Mac 2011 - Group ConversationI can then do things like share my desktop, and I can see the stage that shows me what content is currently being shared. Click the image to see it at a larger size.

Lync for Mac 2011 - Stage

Pretty sweet huh?

What’s still missing

Even for all the improvements, there are still unfortunately a few things that aren’t in Lync for Mac 2011:

  • Can’t tag a contact for status change alerts.
  • No feeds tab or conversation history tab.
  • No ability to create a team-call group.
  • Can’t specify an internet URL for your photo, as mentioned above.
  • Can’t save conversations to Conversation History folder in Outlook.
  • Still no streamlined USB audio device support, however my belief is that this is a Mac OSX limitation.

Improved Experience

This is just a quick first look at the new Mac client, but as you can see Microsoft have made some huge improvements here over the old Communicator for Mac that was really just a skinned Mac Messenger. It looks and feels more like Lync, and the meeting join experience is dead on the same now. Great to see an on-par client experience across platforms now.

Lync for Mac 2011 has gone RTM

So, speak of the devil. Just saw a tweet (thanks @akipekka and @JohnACook) linking to the Office to Mac blog announcing that the Lync for Mac client has released to manufacturing. Excited much?

There’s a video in the link above, and it looks like the UI has been polished up a fair bit. It looks much less like Mac Messenger and a lot more like the Lync client on Windows. From the screenshot below, all the conferencing and content sharing features of the unified client are there. It’ll work both with Lync Server 2010 on premises and Office 365. Can’t wait to get my hands on it in October.

Lync for Mac -Sharing-Window

Image credit: Office for Mac blog.

More info here on the official Office for Mac site also.

From the UC Product Group – What devices have been certified for Mac?

On Friday, Microsoft published a post on the UCG Team Blog about Lync and Communicator for Mac. If you’ve read a few of my posts, you’ll know that I use a MacBook Air and that this is a subject I’ve been vocal about in the past, so this post piqued my interest.

There’s a few things in the post written by Maura Hameroff that I think deserve to be highlighted:

  • That the Lync for Mac 2011 client is “upcoming” (hopefully H1 2012 (am I being too optimistic to say Q1?)).
  • That there are shortcomings in the user experience with the device when used with Communicator for Mac, specifically around using the call control buttons on the device.
  • A lot of detail is provided to explain how to use the qualified devices today on Mac.
  • It’s suggested that an alternative solution is to use an IP phone with your Mac. It should be known that the phone can’t be tethered to the machine using the USB cable for click-to-call functionality with Communicator for Mac.

Great to see some information coming direct from Microsoft regarding the Mac experience. This kind of authoritative content enables organisations to make better decisions for their Mac users.
Hope to see some more news and improvements in the experience on Macs once Lync for Mac 2011 is released. Make sure you read the rest of the article over here.

Communicator for Mac 2011 13.1.2 Update Available

As a follow up to my last blog post about issues with OSX Lion, I’m happy to bring news that Microsoft have now come out with a 13.1.2 update for Communicator for Mac 2011 to resolve the issues (and give you desktop sharing back!).

If you’re running the RTM version (13.0.0.) to get around the issues with OSX Lion, you’ll need to update to at least 13.1.0 to install this update. Otherwise the 13.1.2 update will not install. You can do this by following these steps:

  1. With Communicator open, click Help and then Check for Updates from the menu bar.
  2. When prompted, click Check for Updates.
  3. Once AutoUpdate has checked for updates, click Install when prompted to install the 13.1.1 update.
  4. Follow the Install Wizard to install the update.
Next, download the package for the update from Microsoft and you’ll be able to successfully install the update.