Microsoft launches Lync and again declares death of the PBX

Microsoft says Lync is less costly than Cisco’s UC approach

Microsoft today formally announced Lync, it's next generation of Office Communication Server (formerly known as OCS 14). Once again Microsoft declared that Lync means the death of the PBX. Now that Lync supports E911 with location detection, enterprises may take that declaration more seriously.

Microsoft says its software approach bests Cisco's network approach because users can mix and match hardware from a variety of vendors, rather than buying it all from one vendor, a la Cisco's strategy. Not surprisingly, Microsoft doesn't allow users to mix and match much software. It requires Windows Server and Microsoft SQL Server for basic functions. To get the most out of Lync, you'll need to use Microsoft Office, Exchange and Windows Live Messenger.

Microsoft promises that Lync will be a less expensive unified communications tool than network-based options, particularly Cisco's. With a base price of $4,000 for the enterprise version of Lync plus per user licenses of about $100 apiece, among other software licensing costs, it may indeed be less expensive, but validating TCO will take a bit of work.

Here's a round up of stories on Network World covering the news.

Microsoft launches Lync: 70 new devices supported now, Kinect integration in 2011

Microsoft on Lync launch: The PBX era is over

Verizon Business wants to be your link to Lync

Microsoft's Lync fills gaps in VoIP

 [Insider] Microsoft Lync: Take to the cloud or keep it in-house?

Microsoft Lync: What you need to know

Joe Schurman: Microsoft Voice and UC: Microsoft Lync 2010

Secrets of Windows Back Office Servers: Apple Mac Support in OCS

UC platform: Use Microsoft or go the open route?

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