Microsoft Office 365 review

Office heads for the cloud, but does it send productivity sky-high?

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The new Lync admin center has the same new, consistent interface. This is considerably less chatty and cluttered than the old Lync Online control panel; the explanations are still there but as links to help pages (highlighted as Learn More on almost every screen).

Instead of buttons that open pop-up dialogues, there are checkboxes and drop down lists, and the options have been organised rather more coherently. To keep to Microsoft's new aesthetic, the entirety of the software suite (including Lync) has the 'metro' look rather than the older 'glassy' button interfaces found on older Microsoft software.

There's only one extra option in the control panel, to add your own boilerplate to meeting invitations. You can include your company logo, links to support, any legal terms and conditions that apply to meetings, or a few lines of text you wish to be included in all invitations.

The new Lync admin centre

The major changes to the new version of Lync are in the new Lync clients, which are included in all the Office 365 plans. Features include tabbed conversations, a gallery view of everyone in a video conference, the ability to mute participants before they even dial in, and integrated OneNote notebooks.

We're still waiting for closer Skype integration. Lync Online is an impressive HD videoconferencing system with excellent tools for online meetings, but it still falls short of a full unified communications system if you need PBX integration.

Custom invites
You can add your own text to all Lync invitations