“Optimized for Microsoft Lync – this phrase indicates that a communication device will provide a high quality user experience, with ‘just works’ installation, rich audio and video, and a lower total cost of ownership.” So, what is Microsoft telling us here?
That they test and qualify phones, headsets, webcams, conference room devices, PC’s and other devices for Lync under its Compatible Devices Program. This program has 2 levels, but today we’ll concern ourselves with the one labeled ‘Optimized for.’ This category has to do with IP phones, headsets, webcams, PC’s, conference room devices, and other devices that offer the customer a rich and integrated experience, giving them the power to get the most out of using Lync and getting a higher return on investment.
You would assume that Plantronics, the leader in headset innovations, would provide top quality headsets that could pair up with the Microsoft Lync software, and your assumption would be correct. So what are some of the Plantronics headsets that have been certified as Microsoft Lync devices? This link is just a partial listing of the quality headsets that Plantronics offers for Windows based applications: Microsoft Lync Headsets. Okay, so what products have been certified for Mac users? Sorry, but Microsoft hasn’t yet qualified any devices for Communicator for Mac 2011 or the upcoming Lync for Mac 2011 clients, but most manufacturers have good solutions that will work with the Mac clients. USB corded devices such as headsets and speaker phones are excellent alternatives to basic computer microphones and speakers. For example, Plantronics recommends all of their USB wireless devices that are certified by Microsoft, like the Calisto, Blackwire, Savi, and Voyager headsets. While offering high quality wide-band audio that is optimized for use with Lync, in-line or on-headset call control will have limited functionality on the Mac client. Users will need to answer and end calls from the Mac client directly rather than using the headset buttons. You’ll need to select the item as your primary device in your Mac operating system.
We hope this brief synopsis of what’s available for Microsoft Lync will help you in choosing the best headsets for you and your office. You can always call the friendly folks at Headsets Direct (800-914-7996) for further assistance.