Simpler, better instant messaging options in Lync 2013

Today’s post was written by Nikolay Muravlyannikov, program manager on the Lync Team.

You asked, we listened.  Today, we released an update to the Lync 2013 Windows client, which gives users the option to eliminate the images of senders and receivers in IM conversations without disabling them in the contact list.  We also grouped all of the IM options in the Options dialog to make them easier to find and made a number of other improvements to our media stack to improve call quality wherever you are.

Turn off the images of senders and receivers in the IM conversation window

Roughly a year ago, we added a feature that displays the pictures of participants in Lync IM conversations.  The goal was to make it easier to visually identify who had just sent an IM, which is particularly useful in the context of group conversations.  The downside is that including pictures takes space and as a result, a number of people asked us to provide and option to disable the pictures.  In February of this year, we took a first step, which disabled pictures throughout Lync—including both the contact list and the conversation window.

We’ve further refined this option by adding the ability to disable pictures in the IM conversation window only.  The results are shown below, with IM pictures enabled on the left and disabled on the right. Even in this simple example, you can see the screen real estate that is saved by looking at the final message from “Garrett,” which wraps and takes an extra line when pictures are enabled.

Lync IM Options v3

New IM tab in Lync – Options dialog

I can imagine some people already wondering, “Great!  How do I set the option?”  With this release we combined all IM related settings on their IM tab under Lync – Options, shown below, including the new, Hide pictures in IM setting.  This simplifies the General tab and provides an easy way to find all IM window related features.

Lync Options IM tab

Please  see the October 2014 update for Lync 2013  for the complete set of details and to download the new update, and please keep providing us with feedback!

Thank you for communicating on Lync.