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Microsoft Lync Online Review

Microsoft Lync Online is an online meeting software within the "Office 365" product suite. The software does offer all essential functionalities such as: screen sharing and app sharing, whiteboard, file transfer, chat, and video conferencing and audio conferencing. Prior to scheduling a web meeting the host is required to install an Outlook add-in or they can use a browser-based meeting scheduler, which is not linked to the local email client.

During our tests we encountered various difficulties so our testing team's patience was tested as well. Additionally, the installation of Microsoft Lync was complex and would not run on all Windows-based PCs. To join an online meeting, attendees can choose whether to install Lync locally or to use Lync Web App (browser-based version). When using the browser-based version, the range of functionalities is limited.

The bottom line: Microsoft Lync Online is well suited for planned and unplanned conferences. Due to the complexitity of the installation effort we feel that this online meeting software is more appropriate for mid-sized and large-scale enterprises and may particularly be useful for internal collaboration.

Platform Support

Runs on Windows XP or later, runs on Mac OS X: Office for Mac Standard 2011 purchased on or after October 1, 2011 will have an Office suite that includes Lync for 2011

Pricing

Option 1: Office 365 for professionals and small businesses Small Business: $5 per month and user Small Business Premium: $12.50 per month and user Midsize Business: $15 per month and user

Option 2: for large businesses Exchange Online Plan 1: $4 per month and user Enterprise E1: $8 per month and user Enterprise E3: $20 per month and user

Option 3: Only Lync Online Plan 1: $2 per month and user Plan 2: $5.50 per month and user

Option 4: Lync Server 2013: different pricing depending on edition

License options

Single and multi user license

Voice over IP and phone costs

VoIP integrated

Criterium Rating

Functionality

Grade {0} all essential features available

Usability

Grade {0} Usage is not always intuitive

Meeting Setup

Grade {0} ad-hoc meetings can easily be started via the interface and as an alternative meetings can be scheduled with an Outlook add-in

Software Installation

Grade {0} Installation procedure is complex and time consuming

Cost Transparency

Grade {0} Pricing and license options are publicly available; cost structure is complex and not easy to understand

Security

Grade {0} 128-bit SSL encoding

Platform Support

Grade {0} Runs on Windows and Mac OS X. Mobile Device Support: iOS and Android
Overall Score 2 Stars 7.98 / 10

External resources

Review updated: Dec 2013
Price information updated: Dec 2013