I’m supposed to be working on my Ignite slides, but I just ran into something that has flipped my safeties.
I just don’t understand.
Sure, I know the Lync/Skype for Business team has a lot of irons in the fire, what with their new product line and all. And I get that the Mac install base is small relative to the other things they have to do. But there is no reason I can see for the Mac Lync client to be as buggy and underfeatured as it is. They’ve had years to improve it.
The Lync PG has proven they can do rapid engineering work, as evidenced by the excellent speed and quality of the Lync mobile apps for Android and iOS.
And they’ve proven they can build a robust client, as evidenced by the history of the Lync desktop client for Windows.
The Mac Office team, for their part, has shown that they can produce high-quality clients that reliably work with Microsoft’s services.
So why does the Mac Lync client make me want to start throwing things?
Today’s example: I am signed into Lync with my work account. I want to create a meeting in my personal Exchange calendar, invite attendees, and set it up as an online meeting. This is trivial using Windows Outlook and the Lync (and, now, SfB) client: create the invite, click the “Lync meeting” button, and boom.
On the Mac, however, this scenario doesn’t work– clicking the “Online Meeting” button produces an obnoxious dialog telling me that I must be signed in to the same account in Lync as I’m using in Outlook.
This is just the latest in the pecked-to-death-by-ducks experience of using the Lync client on a Mac. In honesty, the client is more stable and has more features than its predecessors; hell, it even supports the Conversation History folder now. But what I want is a robust client, with feature parity with Windows, that works to enable the same scenarios I can easily perform in Windows. That’s not too much to ask.
I don’t know (and, as an end user, don’t care) which team inside Microsoft owns this. And I don’t have an opinion on who should own it. All I want is a solid client experience.
(And while I am on a rant: damnit, the Windows Phone sync client for the Mac is a giant pile of fail. Microsoft has apparently abandoned it in place. Bug reports go into a black hole. Latest example: after months of prerelease availability, Apple released the Photos app and… surprise… the WP8 sync app doesn’t work with it.)