Category Archives: 15906

Frustration with the Lync 2013 client for Windows Phone 8

Microsoft have released the Lync 2013 client for Windows Phone 8, and it looks great – many more features than the 2010 version, including voice and video calling. However, when I try to login to my account on Office 365 it tells me that “You can’t sign in with this version of Lync. Please install Lync 2010.”


That’s unfortunate and somewhat unexpected, partly because I’m happily using the Lync 2013 desktop client on my Windows 8 desktop, but more so because the app description in the Windows Phone Store gives no real indication that it wouldn’t work. What it does say, in all caps, is this:


IMPORTANT: THIS SOFTWARE REQUIRES CONNECTIVITY TO VALIDLY LICENSED COPIES OF MICROSOFT LYNC SERVER OR OFFICE 365 / LYNC ONLINE AND WILL NOT WORK WITHOUT IT. UPDATES TO MICROSOFT LYNC SERVER MAY BE REQUIRED FOR PROPER PERFORMANCE. SOME FUNCTIONALITY MAY NOT BE AVAILABLE IN ALL COUNTRIES. IF YOU ARE UNSURE ABOUT YOUR COMPANY’S LICENSE TO AND/OR DEPLOYMENT OF LYNC, PLEASE CONTACT YOUR IT DEPARTMENT.


That’s the only information about requirements for using the app, and you’ll notice that it explicitly says that you can use it with Office 365. It’s not a case of “some functionality may not be available in all countries” – this client uses something called UCX which isn’t supported by Lync 2010 servers, so evidentially we’ll have to wait for Microsoft to upgrade our O365 tennancy. I’d be fine with that if the above important information didn’t say “UPDATES TO MICROSOFT LYNC SERVER MAY BE REQUIRED FOR PROPER PERFORMANCE.” I’d say that “proper performance” implies that some features may not work optimally, not that you won’t be able to get so far as signing in!


I’m sure that the people who have Lync 2013 and Windows Phone 8 devices are going to be very happy with this app, and I expect that I may be happy with it in the future* but this is just another example of Microsoft giving mixed/misleading messages around Windows Phone 8 and it isn’t good enough! (For the other prime example that annoys me even more, I refer you to the podcast user experience outside the USA. Going into the Podcasts section of the Music + Videos hub tells you that “It’s lonely in here. Go to the Store to add some podcasts”, but there aren’t any unless you’re in the USA. This is something that’s built in to the core OS and only works in one country of all the teritories where Windows Phones are sold. Shocking.)


On a positive note, as one of my colleagues pointed out, at least the error message in this case is vaguely helpful and doesn’t just give you some obscure error code.


* If I don’t switch back to Android first.

Free Microsoft Tech Showcase Events

Microsoft has teamed up with some of its Microsoft Learning Partners to provide free first-look clinics covering Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, Visual Studio 2012, SQL Server 2012, Exchange 2013, SharePoint 2013, and Lync 2013.


These events are happening all around the world, so you should hopefully find one near to you. I found out about these from a Microsoft UK blog that said they were being run “across the UK” – looking at the currently published list of events, “across the UK” is defined as London and Wokingham, so your mileage may vary.


Still, it’s worth a journey because event offers these opportunities:


  • Lead the Technology Wave – Get a first-hand look at new, breakthrough product features available with Microsoft’s most recent technology releases.
  • World-Class Education – Receive instruction from Learning Partners – the premier technical and instructional specialists endorsed by Microsoft to deliver training on Microsoft technologies.
  • Boost your Career – Learn about the latest Microsoft training and certification offerings to elevate your skills to the next level.

To find an event near you, head over to http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/community/events.aspx

NEBytes Event 18th May

Unfortunately I’m going to be out of the country and not able to make this month’s regular NEBytes event, but it’s a good one, so I don’t want you to miss it if you can be in Newcastle.


For developers, we’ve got Gergely Orosz talking about Windows Phone 7 development. Gergely is one of the guys behind the gorgeous Cocktail Flow app, which is the first app that I show people when they ask for a demo of Windows Phone 7.



For IT pros, NEBytes’ very own Ben Lee will be covering Lync 2010. Ben does a great job of covering topics like this one and I’m sure that he won’t be able to stop himself speculating how Microsoft’s requisition of Skype will fit in to Lync going forward.


Full details and the sign-up link are on the NEBytes site.


North East based developers may also want to check out this month’s Super Mondays event on Application Development for the Enterprise. Don’t let the fact that it’s on a Tuesday (31st May) fool you because they’ve got a great international line-up of speakers.