Personally, I've been waiting for this for quite a while. Due to the inadequacies of the Modern (Metro) version of Microsoft Lync, I've had to run the Desktop version across all my devices.  This is a pain, considering I have to switch to the Windows 8.1 Desktop just to join in on Lync conversations. On a true desktop PC, this is not a problem since I spend all my time in Desktop mode. However, on my various Windows 8.1-based tablets and devices, it's cumbersome. As Paul states so eloquently today, you need to use the right tool for the job, and that includes utilizing the appropriate side of the Windows 8.1 Frankenstein monster.

Microsoft has announced a newer, better version of their Lync app for Windows 8.1. Yes, it's only for Windows 8.1 (not Windows 8). So, if you want to partake in the latest release and have not upgraded your Windows 8 PC or device yet, you'll need to do so. In addition to just a better overall app experience, Microsoft has also enhanced some features and added new ones.

Here's a quick list of what's new:

  • Ability to "take control" of shared apps or screens during meetings.
  • Run Lync in a snapped window, next to another app.
  • Answer calls (video or audio) directly from the Windows 8.1 lock screen.
  • New in-app controls to manage call volume and muting.
  • Use an in-app search function to locate contacts.

If you currently have Lync installed, just hit the Windows Store to search for an update. If, like me, you uninstalled the app because it simply wasn't good enough, you can grab the installation from the Windows Store by searching for 'Microsoft Lync' or using this link:

Microsoft Lync in the Windows Store