Live Meeting’s functionality was absorbed into Lync Server. Since Lync had Web Conferencing (and the Dial-In Conferencing service!) built in, it made sense to equip the software with Live Meeting’s anyone-can-join capability too.
With Live Meeting, people wanting to join a conference (as guests, outside your network) would join in by downloading the Live Meeting Client. In Lync Server, you have two new choices: Lync Attendee, or the Lync Web App.
Meeting Option #1: Lync Attendee
Lync Attendee is a downloadable client for external users to join Lync meetings. In other words, it operates just like the Live Meeting Client.
However, it doesn’t allow for Presence, or scheduling meetings on its own. (You need the full Lync client for those.) Attendees can enter a meeting as a Guest or as an Authenticated User, with their own corporate credentials.
Download Lync Attendee here.
Meeting Option #2: Lync Web App
The Lync Web App is a Silverlight-based app for people who don’t have Lync 2010. It enables remote connection as a guest – same functionality as Live Meeting, just in a Web-based app.
The Web App doesn’t allow for Presence either. But it *does* include IM. And all the collaboration features you’d find in Lync 2010 or Lync Attendee: PowerPoint presentations, the Whiteboard, polls, etc.
(Using these features may prompt attendees to download a plugin. Warn them beforehand.)
NextHop has a thorough run-down of the Lync Web App here.
So Which Should You Use for Meetings?
If you’re reasonably sure attendees are on newer computers, use the Lync Web App. Silverlight is newer technology; the latest systems will support it easily.
Also, use the Web App if you’re inviting people on Macs and/or smartphones.
Otherwise, go with Lync Attendee. It’s a good all-around client for meetings, and it’s easier to use than Live Meeting.
A Note About Conference Scheduling
Scheduling a web conference in Lync is pretty easy. Lync users can begin a meeting anytime (what’s called an “ad-hoc meeting”) by right-clicking on another contact.
However, when it comes to scheduling meetings, the Conferencing Add-In I mentioned will likely get more use. Being integrated into Outlook, it’s literally right there.
You’ll see a “New Online meeting” button (with the Lync logo) under Calendar. Click that and enter the meeting details.
This should clear up a little confusion. I’m sure there’s a lot more to discuss when it comes to meetings in Lync though.
Have you had trouble scheduling or attending one? Let’s hear about it!