Each of the page names below is a link.
Lync Home Page (Now Skype for Business)
This is the starting point for exploring the Lync resources on the Microsoft Office site, written in (relatively) non-technical language. From here you can navigate to information about Lync’s features, compatible hardware and apps and partners. You can also go to the commercial pricing for Lync or read Microsoft case studies of Lync usage. You can also access resources for IT pros or developers from here. There are also connections to the specific home pages for Lync Server 2013 and Lync Online.
Microsoft Corporate Citizenship: Nonprofit Tools & Resources: What’s Available
Here, you can find out what’s available and who is eligible for donations and reduced prices from Microsoft, and you can apply for support. There is also information on training, benefits & support, IT planning, and links to a large number of nonprofit success stories. There is a navigation bar link to a section devoted to Office 365 for nonprofits.
Comparison of Office 365 for Nonprofits Plans
This comparison table provides a clear view of what qualifying nonprofits can get for free and what will cost $4.50 per user per month.
Lync for IT Pros Page
This page, on the Microsoft TechNet site, provides a deep dive into detailed information about Lync, primarily Lync Server and the Lync clients. It has information both about Lync 2010 and Lync 2013. It provides access to all the Lync downloads and updates, as well as comparisons among Lync clients. Of special interest is a planning primer for starting a Lync deployment.
Lync for Developers
This is the Lync Dev Center home page on MSDN. It provides access to many downloads, including the Lync 2013 SDK and the UCMA 4.0 SDK. It also links to the MSDN library of Lync materials, as well as providing downloadable code samples, several training modules and much more for developers. There is also a link to the useful Lync developers forum.
NextHop is the Microsoft Lync Server team’s customer response channel—a new medium to rapidly make the information you need available to you, when you need it. NextHop provides pertinent, short-format, technical articles between major releases of the product and associated product documentation (technical library content, Resource Kit book, whitepapers, and tools). NextHop highlights the knowledge of experts in the Lync Server community, bringing you information from internal and external experts, such as the Lync Server engineering team and our Most Valuable Professional (MVP) community. The content from the former DrRez and Lync PowerShell TechNet blogs has now been added to this blog.
Support for Microsoft Lync and Lync Server 2013 and 2010
This is the home page for Lync support on support.microsoft.com. It provides help and support for Microsoft Lync Server 2013 and 2010, Microsoft Lync 2013 and 2010, Office Communications Server and Communicator. It does not provide support for Lync Online. See the next page.
Support for Lync Online
Support for Lync Online is organized as part of Office 365. There is an item in the left menu to select Lync-related material. The page provides links to solutions to common administration and troubleshooting problems, some basic instruction on how to use Lync, downloadable training modules, and information about Lync instructor-led training sessions that could help you train users, among other things.
Microsoft Lync Case Studies
This page presents 11 customer stories created by Microsoft, and entry points into Microsoft customer stories on other subjects.
Independent Articles and Reviews
Microfost Lync 2013 Review: First Look
An introductory review of the features and benefits of Lync from the British IT journal, IT Pro.
A detailed guide to probably all you would ever like to know about Lync Server 2013 licensing. As if this writing, it was current to Microsoft’s February 2013 licensing policies. If you are considering Lync Server 2013, this may be useful, since Lync Server 2013 may not be offered as a donation. Check with a Microsoft Certified Partner, such as CGNET, to be sure.
MarketScope for Unified Communications for the SMB Market, North America
Gartner’s August 2013 MarketScope rates Microsoft and other vendors, with an emphasis on premises-based high-end demand for telephony. This may not be the most relevant review for most uses of Lync, but it provides a good view of alternatives for high-end unified communications. Microsoft does not do particularly well in this comparison.
Thoughts on the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications 2013
An article from Matt Landis’ blog about the Gartner Unified Communications magic quadrant, which is a broader measure than the MarketScope mentioned above. Cisco and Microsoft are the clear leaders.
How to cut through the complexity of Lync 2013
A good InfoWorld column about why IT folks need not fear the telephony side of Lync Server 2013.
Lync Online: A professional, cheap GoToMeeting and WebEx alternative (review)
A readable, comprehensive article comparing Lync Online, GoToMeeting and WebEx, with a very helpful comparison table. As the title suggests, Lync Online comes out on top, and the author offers several good reasons.
Northwestern University Collaboration Services: Lync Quick Reference Guide
The guide put together by Northwestern University to introduce faculty and staff to Lync. Although much of the information is specific to the University, much is not, and it addresses some real-world issues which more sales-oriented guides may not address.
Harvard Medical School IT Department Lync FAQs
Another set of useful questions and answers about Lync, similar to the one above. Of special interest is a table with links to help for Lync versions on Macintoshes and mobile devices.