Microsoft Press release:
Lync Online with IM, presence, audio and video conferencing and PC-to-PC voice calling will launch when Office 365 is generally available. Full telephony will not be part of the initial Lync Online offer, but we are committed to bringing a richer voice experience – beyond PC-to-PC audio – into Office 365 in future updates. And, with Office 365, customers can get licenses to on-premises Lync voice functionality in some offers. So, customers can use on-premises Lync technology to replace their existing PBX systems, and use Lync Online in the cloud for IM, presence and conferencing. And, they have the additional option of having their Lync voice solutions hosted by one of our partners, including BT, Intercall and Verizon.
With the introduction of audio and video conferencing in Lync Online, Office Live Meeting customers will continue to receive support but will also have the choice to transition to Lync Online conferencing within one year following global availability. Customers can purchase Live Meeting standalone until Office 365 launches next year, so we encourage customers who are ready to deploy today, to take advantage of these services now and get Lync Online as part of Office 365 in the future.
You can get more information about Office 365 at: www.office365.com and sign up to get a place in the beta. You can also see the previous post on the next generation of cloud productivity service here.
As a reminder, we are on track to deliver Lync Server by the end of this calendar year, and encourage you to try it via our free public release candidate: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/lync/try-it_lync.aspx
And please, watch this space as we keep you updated on all the latest happenings with Lync Online.