New Lync for Mac adds Media Resiliency, Conversation History and OS X Yosemite support

Barak Manor is a product manager for the Lync team

I’m pleased to say that we’ve just released our latest update to Lync for Mac, and it is available for download on Microsoft Support. This release adds new two features; Media Resiliency and Conversation History, as well as  additional support for Apple OS X Yosemite.

Media Resiliency

No network is perfect, of course, and we all want the best possible experience when hiccups happen. This update adds Media Resiliency for peer-to-peer calls and Lync Meetings, which does two important things. First, if a network disconnect occurs, Lync for Mac will now automatically rejoin a meeting or reconnect a peer-to-peer call as long as network connectivity is re-established within 30 seconds.

(Try it for yourself. Setup a Lync video call on your Mac. Quickly disconnect and reconnect your network cable, or disable and re-enable your wireless connection. You’ll see the video freeze when the network drops and then re-start once connection is re-established.)

Second, Lync for Mac will now maintain the media connection for peer-to-peer calls if connectivity is lost to Lync Server or Lync Online. This lets voice calls continue even when presence information is no longer available.

Conversation History

Older versions of Lync for Mac store a record of Lync conversations locally on the Mac, but not in Exchange. With this update, we’ve added two things to improve conversation history for both Mac users and company administrators. The option to store conversation history in Exchange, as well as locally, and a new Conversation History tab in the Lync for Mac client, shown below. Using Exchange allows us to propagate a user’s conversation history across multiple devices; enabling, for example, a person with more than one Mac to revisit all their conversations on either Mac—rather than seeing only the local conversations. In addition, archival in Exchange simplifies eDiscovery and other compliance tasks for administrators.

Lync Conversation History tab

OS X Yosemite support

In the last two years Apple has released three new versions of OS X: Mountain Lion, Mavericks and just last week Yosemite. Each time, we tested and released a new Lync for Mac client. This time is no different since the current release of the client supports the new OS X Yosemite .

Full information about this release is available at the Microsoft Knowledge-Base. It’s a cumulative release that builds on our 10 prior updates to Lync for Mac over the last two years. In this time, we’ve added a number of important capabilities, including:

  • Dynamic video camera selection during calls.
  • USB peripheral devices support, including headsets, speakerphones and cameras.
  • E-911 and Location Awareness, as described in this blog post.
  • Higher compression rate (~10x) for desktop sharing, to reduce bandwidth and latency.
  • Better control and management of delegation for boss/admin scenarios.
  • Better integration with Office 365, including configuration auto discovery and visibility of Audio Conferencing Provider callers in the Lync Meeting roster.
  • Quality Of Experience (QOE) reporting to the server or Office 365 after each call.
  • Enabling better control and management for boss/admin scenarios. 

Even with these improvements, we know we have more work to do to delight Mac users. We plan to continue our regular updates and look forward to your feedback. Keep it coming!

—Barak Manor