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Lync 2013 is everything that Skype should be. Why do they both exist?

March 6, 2013 | Howard Lichtman

Story: Peter Bright / ARS Technica

With Microsoft working hard to fold the venerable MSN Messenger network and client into Skype, Microsoft is left with two messaging products: Skype and Lync. The future of these apps is integration and interconnection. That's not today's reality, however.

As with the rest of the Office suite, Lync has been refreshed as part of the Office 2013 version. In common with the rest of Office 2013, it's been given a simpler, flatter look to make it Metroesque, if not actually Metro style. The two most important and sensible features here are "Quick Lync," a set of actions that appear whenever the mouse is over a contact in your list, and tabbed messaging windows.

Video chatting has also been streamlined with a preview that shows what your webcam is seeing before you start a video call and a "gallery view" for multi-person video calls that shows video for the five most active participants but replaces others with static images.

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