As of December 1st, 2010, customers can acquire the latest iterations of Microsoft’s unified communications offering rebranded as Lync 2010.
Launched as early as November 2010, Lync 2010 is the successor of Office Communications Server, and has been available for testing through a variety of trial downloads to corporate customers for some time now (links at the bottom of this article.)
As it is the case with any major Microsoft product, the company is offering a plethora of resources designed to help IT professionals and developers start planning, deploying, testing, etc. Lync 2010.
Illustrative examples are the 7 Microsoft Lync Virtual Labs offered free of charge by the software company via MSDN.
The virtual labs are set up to streamline developer efforts when it comes down to scenarios such as integrating Lync 2010 into apps as well as starting Contextual Conversations from the Lync Controls.
At the same time, the labs offer insight into the Lync 2010 Managed application programming interface, the UCMA 3.0 Workflow software development kit, and the Unified Communications Managed API 3.0.
The two remaining labs are focused on UCMA 3.0 development and the Exchange Web Services Managed API 1.0.
“You get a downloadable manual and a 90-minute block of time for each module. You can sign up for additional 90-minute blocks at any time,” Microsoft informed.
Devs interested in the Microsoft Lync Virtual Labs can access the resources via the links below or through this page on MSDN.
Of course, they can also grab the trial downloads of Lync 2010 from Microsoft and test drive the UC solution in their environment free of charge.
All the Microsoft Lync Virtual Labs are hosted on the company’s servers in Hyper-V and can be accessed from any Windows machine by using Internet Explorer.
Microsoft Lync Server 2010 RTM is available for download here.
Microsoft Lync Server 2010 SDK is available for download here.
Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Attendee is available for download here.
Microsoft Lync Group Chat is available for download here.
Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Group Chat is available for download here.