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Lync Meetings

Office 365

Applies to: Office 365

Topic Last Modified: 2014-12-12

Lync Meetings provide the ability for up to 250 people to collaborate online by using features such as video, audio, instant messaging, or content sharing.

Users can start or join an ad-hoc Lync Meeting with just a few clicks in the Lync client or in Office. Lync Online lets users escalate simple instant messaging conversations or email conversations to PC-based, multiparty audio and video meetings with shared desktops, applications, and documents.

Lync Online provides for Lync-based, multiparty (three or more users) audio conferencing capabilities. Lync multiparty audio provides users with an adaptive audio codec for optimal performance under varying bandwidth conditions, visual call and roster controls, network quality indicator, and powerful user management features (for example, drag and drop a participant name to add them to a meeting).

In addition to audio, Lync Online enables users to connect through high quality video sessions. Both person-to-person and multiparty (three or more users) sessions are supported. Active speaker video is available only for multiparty sessions. With Lync Online, users can easily schedule an online meeting with video or seamlessly escalate an IM session to a video call.

The video experience is enhanced by the following features:

  • HD video   Users can experience resolutions up to HD 1080P in two-party calls and multiparty conferences.

  • Gallery View   In video conferences that have more than two people, users can see videos of participants in the conference. If the conference has more than five participants, video of only the most active participants appears in the top row, and a picture appears for the other participants.

  • H.264 video   The H.264 video codec is now the default for encoding video on Lync 2013 clients. H.264 video supports a greater range of resolutions and frame rates, and improves video scalability.

Multiparty Lync audio and video capabilities might not be available in certain countries due to regulatory restrictions. For details, see About license restrictions.

In Lync meetings, presenters have access to the following meeting controls:

  • Mute or unmute all attendees, or mute individual attendees.

  • Block attendees from starting video.

  • Hide names on the pictures.

  • Change permissions so that all participants are attendees instead of presenters.

  • Send email invitations to additional people.

  • Backstage content preview if the user is a presenter.

In a Lync meeting, participants can select from the following options depending on how they want to view the meeting content, presenter, or participants:

  • Gallery View shows all the participants’ pictures, or videos, plus meeting content.

  • Speaker View shows the presenter’s picture or video at the lower-right corner of the meeting window, plus meeting content.

  • Presentation View shows only the meeting content.

  • Compact View shows the tiles of the participants’ pictures in a compact window.

Dial-in audio conferencing, which is the ability to dial into a scheduled Lync meeting/conference from fixed-line or mobile phones, can be achieved through interoperability with leading third-party audio conferencing services.

  • The audio conferencing service must be provided through a certified audio conferencing partner. An up-to-date list of approved audio conferencing partners for Lync Online is available on Microsoft PinPoint.

  • Multiparty Lync audio and video capabilities may not be available in certain countries due to regulatory restrictions.

Lync Online provides powerful PC-to-PC and multiparty data sharing capabilities. Desktop sharing enables presenters to broadcast any visuals, applications, webpages, documents, software, or part of their desktops to remote participants in real time, right from Lync. Audience members can follow along with mouse movements and keyboard input. Presenters can choose to share the entire screen or only a portion.

Application sharing enables presenters to share control of software on their desktops without losing sight of participant feedback or text questions. Presenters can also delegate control of the application to meeting participants.

Lync Online provides multiparty PowerPoint presentation, with higher-resolution displays and support for PowerPoint capabilities, such as animations, slide transitions, and embedded video. Mobile devices can also access the presentations because the feature uses standard HTML 5 and JavaScript to broadcast PowerPoint presentations. Users with the appropriate privileges can scroll through a PowerPoint presentation independent of the presentation.

  • Upload of other file types, including multimedia content, is not supported.

  • If you’re the presenter, you need to have PowerPoint installed on your computer in order to share a PowerPoint presentation in a Lync meeting.

Lync Online provides multiparty web conferencing capabilities including virtual whiteboard and annotations. A whiteboard is a blank canvas that can be used for collaboration, with text, ink, drawings, and images. Annotations made on whiteboards can be seen by all meeting participants. The whiteboard feature enhances collaboration by enabling meeting participants to discuss ideas, brainstorm, take notes, and so on.

The polling feature enhances collaboration by enabling presenters to quickly determine participants’ preferences. During online meetings and conversations, presenters can use polling to gather anonymous responses from participants. All presenters can see the results and can either hide the results or show them to all attendees.

The recording feature allows organizers and presenters to record all aspects of a Lync session, including who entered the meeting, audio and video, and content from IM conversations, program sharing sessions, PowerPoint presentations, handouts, whiteboards, and so on. Organizers and presenters can choose 480p, 720p HD, or 1080p Full HD as their preferred resolution for client-side recordings. Recordings are saved to the organizer’s or presenter’s computer. To make a recording available to others, the organizer or presenter can move or copy the recording to a shared location. To learn more about changing the location and resolution of a Lync recording, see Lync recording location and resolution.

With the Lobby feature, users decide who gets into the meeting directly, and who waits until the presenter lets them in. This feature is recommended for large meetings, or meetings that will involve confidential or sensitive information. Different Lobby options can be set for users who are connecting through a Lync client and users who are dialing in.

Lync Online now supports both authenticated and unauthenticated Lync Web App attendees. If a user receives a Lync Meeting invitation but does not have an account with your organization, he or she can still join the meeting by using Lync Web App and signing in with the Guest account.

The Lync desktop client includes an Outlook plug-in that provides users with single-click scheduling of online meetings in Outlook. Participants can join with a single click from the Outlook reminder, or through the Outlook meeting itself. Organizers can set up meetings using predefined conference properties, or can set meeting types and admission policies for specific needs. Details (such as meeting time, location, and attendees) follow the familiar Outlook template, and conference call-specific information (such as dial-in number and meeting passcode) are automatically populated (access phone numbers require a third-party dial-in audio conferencing service). For more information about scheduling Lync meetings, see Set up a Lync Meeting in the Lync 2013 for Office 365 help.

Lync Online supports a maximum meeting capacity of 250 users.

Lync Online users who also have Exchange Online can use Outlook Web App to set up Lync Meetings. Details (such as meeting time, location, and attendees) follow the familiar template, and conference call-specific information (such as dial-in number and meeting passcode) are automatically populated (access phone numbers require a third-party dial-in audio conferencing service).

Lync Web Scheduler provides a web-based way to schedule a Lync Meeting. It provides a browser-based conference management experience that includes operations such as the following:

  • Scheduling a new online Lync meeting

  • Viewing a list of existing meetings that the user has organized

  • Viewing and modifying details of an existing meeting

  • Deleting an existing meeting

  • Sending invitations

  • Joining an existing meeting

Customers using Lync Online can upload content to a Lync Meeting as attachments, such as PowerPoint presentations, OneNote files, and other files. The retention period for content that has been uploaded to a meeting is as follows:

  • One-time meeting   Content is retained for 15 days starting from when the last person leaves the meeting.

  • Recurring meeting   Content is retained for 15 days after the last person leaves the last session of the meeting. The retention timer resets if someone joins the same meeting session within 15 days. For example, assume a Lync meeting is scheduled to occur on a weekly basis for one year, and a file is uploaded to the meeting during the first instance. If at least one person joins the meeting session every week, the file is retained in Lync Online servers for the entire year plus 15 days after the last person leaves the last meeting of the series.

  • Meet Now meeting   Content is retained for 8 hours after the meeting end time.

Users can access a specific meeting after the meeting has ended, subject to the following expiration time periods:

  • One-time meeting   Meeting expires 14 days after the scheduled meeting end time.

  • Recurring meeting with end date   Meeting expires 14 days after the scheduled end time of the last meeting occurrence.

  • Meet Now meeting   Meeting expires after 8 hours.

To view feature availability across Office 365 plans, standalone options, and on-premise solutions, see Lync Online Service Description.

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