A few readers have been asking me if Microsoft Live Meeting is being officially sunsetted. I had to admit that I didn’t have any official information on the subject, so I thought I would try to find out from somebody at Microsoft. After a lot of calls and emails, I received the following reply, which I reprint here in its entirety:
Live Meeting is being discontinued and replaced by Microsoft Lync – the new business communications technology solution from Microsoft. Customers who have a Live Meeting Volume Licensing contract (either from Microsoft or via a partner) can stay on Live Meeting through the remainder of their contract. Transition for BPOS-S customers will be based on the transition from BPOS to Office 365, with some planned overlap of Live Meeting and Lync Online to allow for a smoother end user experience.
So there it is… As much information as Microsoft is willing to share. Here’s my take on the statement and additional things I can glean from their various web resources.
It’s obvious that Live Meeting is going away. Finish up your existing contract period and decide whether you want to use Lync for your web meetings or another technology. I did a full comparison of Lync vs. Live Meeting last year. If you just need basic web conferencing with small groups of internal staff members Lync is a good fit at a good price. If you need anything beyond the basics, you'll need to find another solution. For example, if you are hosting webinars with attendee registration forget it. Lync does not have any features to support this. If your are meeting with external clients or partners Lync is difficult to use. The download for someone to join a Lync meeting is 50.5Mb. That is huge.
We polled readers for feedback and most switched to Adobe Connect for web meetings and webinars.