Lync Server 2013, which is Microsoft's unified communications solution, hit release-to-manufacturing status in October of last year, with Microsoft indicating that general availability release was planned for the first quarter of 2013. However, the general availability of the product actually happened shortly after the RTM release, according to a Microsoft spokesperson, via e-mail.
Lync Server emerged from Microsoft's earlier Office Communications Server product back in 2007. The idea back then was to offer "more capabilities at lower cost than PBX systems," according to B.J. Haberkorn, director of Lync product marketing for Microsoft, in a blog post. Since then, it's been a slow path toward that PBX rip-and-replace vision, but Microsoft has been making some inroads. Last month, Kevin Turner, Microsoft's chief operating office, said that Lync is used by 90 of the Fortune 100 companies. In addition, Microsoft's fiscal-year 2014 Q1 financial report indicated that Lync sales grew "30 percent."