Microsoft Office Communications Server (OCS) 2007 R2, which was released in early 2009, does a credible job of providing presence awareness, instant messaging, conferencing and voice capabilities. Still, these services aren't always integrated, and thus aren't easily managed by IT staff. For end users, the lack of integration means maintaining various sets of contacts and working differently depending on the application.
That's all history with Microsoft Lync 2010, which officially ships on Dec. 1, and replaces OCS. We've been testing the software for several weeks and we find that Lync integrates well with Exchange, Active Directory, SharePoint and Office.