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Microsoft Gives 'Lync Room Systems' the Skype Treatment

Starting Tuesday, Microsoft's Lync Room Systems products will become Skype Room Systems.

A cumulative update scheduled for Nov. 10 will change the branding of Lync Room Systems -- video-conferencing appliances with built-in audio, video and white-boarding capabilities that are made by Microsoft's hardware partners -- to Skype, Microsoft announced late last week. Microsoft had rebranded its Lync products to "Skype" back in March.

The update also will affect the screen's appearance, adding a "darker theme." Additionally, some of the Lync Room System controls will get altered.

While end users could get confused by a new software design, Microsoft's announcement promised minimal user interface (UI) changes. For instance, PowerPoint's UI won't be changing. Also, meeting room use scenarios won't change, such as those involving starting meetings, sharing content and making changes to the display.

That said, the UI will have "the Skype for Business look and feel" after the update gets applied, Microsoft's announcement explained.

Microsoft added one new feature with this update. A new "Private" option will hide the subject line of a meeting from scrolling on Skype Room Systems, if wanted.

The Skype Room System changes will arrive via a cumulative update. Lync Room Systems built by Crestron, Polycom and Smart will automatically update to become Skype Room Systems, depending on local update settings. Alternatively, these systems can be manually updated.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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