Pro-Exchange,Lync & Office 365
Belgian Microsoft Unified Communications Professionals
Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft Lync Server & Office 365
Lync on Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Windows 8 Consumer Preview was released yesterday (free download here) in both 32-bit and 64-bit. 

At this time, there is no native Lync client for Windows 8 so we currently have to use the existing Lync 2010 client. As a good Lync addict, the first thing I did after installing Windows 8 was installing Lync 2010. Here are a few screenshots to give you an idea how that works.

Lync on the "classic" Desktop

Nothing new here. Lync just works as before.It is also labeled as compatible in the Windows 8 compatibility center:

This is the sign in window:

After sign-in, both the taskbar icon and system tray icon are available:

And a chat window also works as before:

Incoming calls also work fine, but I guess you got the picture already Smile

Conclusion: Lync on Windows 8 classic desktop is a happy camper and works great as before.

Lync and the Windows 8 Start Screen

This is how Lync icons appear on the Start Screen after installation:

And this is where the not-so-fun experience starts... Because Lync 2010 does not support the new Windows 8 features, there is no integration and nothing happens on the start screen when:

  • A new incoming IM is received
  • A new incoming call is received.
  • A new "other communication" is received

Except for system sounds indicating a call/communication, the user is not aware of any new incoming conversation.  Then, he needs to switch to classic desktop manually to take the call/conversation.

Conclusion: We will have to wait for a native Lync client for Windows 8 to have the great Lync experience in the great Windows 8 UI experience.

General Thoughts

The Lync behavior under the new Start Screen is somewhat expected, because we all knew the new Windows 8 API's and behavior are not implemented in the current Lync client.  Microsoft did not release a Lync client yet with the current build, which was also expected since it is called a "consumer" preview after all, while Lync is an enterprise class collaboration tool.

Lync works perfectly on the Windows 8 classic desktop, which was within expectations as it is labeled compatible in the Windows 8 compatibility center

BUT it will be exciting times when the native Windows 8 Lync client is released. When that will be available, only Microsoft knows right now.

A small teaser to get your imagination going, this is how Windows Live Messenger looks like on Windows 8:

In case I've missed something (this is brand new) or new information is released, feel free to reply!

Posted 03-01-2012 7:44 by Ruben Nauwelaers
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