Using Hyper-V & Enhanced Session For Your Lync Lab

In the past the lack of support for audio devices made it awkward to use Hyper-V as a Lync lab but with the new “Enhanced Session” capabilities it seems that your next Lync lab may run nicely on a Windows 8.1 Enterprise PC with Hyper-V Client. (Of course we are talking a tiny lab. and if it’s a tiny lab, can you even fit it on a Surface Pro 3?)

Does Hyper-V Client Now Support Audio?

Yes, it does. Just make sure you are running  Windows 8.1 Enterprise or Server 2012 or newer inside the VM. And then turn on “Enhanced Session”: View |  Enhanced Session. The Disconnect from the VM and Connect” again. Now you will get the “Enhanced Session” configuration window.


Now click on “Show Options” | Local Resources | Settings and make sure “Play on the computer” and “Record from the computer” are enabled so a device is passed to the VM and Lync has audio devices.


You can edit/save these settings later by going to the Hyper-V Manager, right-click the VM and click “Edit Session Settings”.

Can I have two VM sharing the same speaker & Microphones?

From my testing it seems to work just fine. Each VM will allow you to set the volume of that VM. I did not see a way to give different VM’s different audio devices. (perhaps I overlooked something?)

What happens if I call from one VV Lync client to another VM on the same Host Sharing the same Speaker/Mic?

Well, of course this needed immediate testing. So you have 2 Lync clients in 2 different VM’s sharing the same host speaker and microphone…what on earth will happen? Nothing spectacular other than the normal squawking feedback. (I was expecting an explosion.)


What do the audio settings look like in Lync?



Let’s Push Our Luck, What About a Video Camera?

So far I couldn’t make it work, but didn’t spend much time…


I will add any other anomalies and interesting things I find.

Lync Anonymous Response Group Limitations and Field Notes


Lync Server Response Groups can be setup to “Enable agent anonymity”. Enabling agent anonymity, or, Anonymous Response Groups, will hide the agent (Lync user who is answering the RGS call or making a call on behalf of a RGS) from the incoming caller and allow users to call out as a Response Group instead of as themselves.

How Does a RGS Agent Call Out as an RGS?

Pretty much just like they would if they were a Delegate for another user. If a Lync user/Agent is a part of a RGS that is enabled for agent anonymity, there will be another item in the “Call” dropdown for the RGS. (shown below)


There are some limitations and quirks to be aware of when implementing anonymous response groups.

Anonymous Call Limitations

  • No conferencing, application sharing, desktop sharing, file transfer, white boarding, data collaboration or call recording. (source: click here)
  • Anonymous calls cannot start with IM or video and bump up to audio


  • Handset Answers Instead of Headset when answering with Lync toast
  • Blind Transfer won’t go to voicemail (like Blind transfer) and won’t return user who transferred the call (like Safe transfer)

Handset Answers Instead of Headset when answering with Lync Toast

If a Lync user answering anonymous RGS calls has both a Handset (ie: Lync Phone Edition) and a Headset with the Headset selected as the “Primary Device” (as shown below)  if the user answers with the Lync call toast (versus answering via Headset button) the call will actually be answered on the Handset.


Blind Transfers Won’t Go To Voicemail or Return to User That Transferred the Call

If a user receives an anonymous RGS call and blind transfers the call to another user, if the call is not answered the caller won’t go to voicemail (like Blind transfer) and won’t return user who transferred the call (like Safe transfer) but the call will just ring endlessly until the caller hangs up.

Below is the official verbiage that I think is trying to convey this message: (source: click here)


Official RGS config page:

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications 2014: Microsoft Lync Takes Lead from Cisco


Cisco and Microsoft have been vying for the top of the Gartner Unified Communications “Leader” quadrant for some time and, according to Jamie Stark (Product Manager Microsoft Lync), Microsoft has taken the lead from Cisco in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications 2014 report that was published August 4, 2014 by Bern Elliot & Steve Blood. The report is available here.


Here is the 2014 Magic Quadrant:


Some of my quick observations on the 2014 Magic Quadrant UC Report after a quick scan:

  • Microsoft pulls ahead of Cisco on “Completeness of Vision” and ties on “Ability to Execute” (from what my eye can see)
  • Mitel moves into Leader quadrant click here
    • Interesting to note that Mitel purchased several Lync products this year Click Here
  • Siemens Enterprise Communication became Unify and dropped from “Leaders” to “Visionary” quadrant

Below is the motion of UC players from 2006 to 2014 by Gartner. Microsoft has been the Top vendor in the Leader Quadrant for all but 2 years between 2006 and 2014. (if you want a YouTube version of below video that you can pause click here)

2006-2014 Gartner Quadrant

I will write some more thoughts on the report after I more thoroughly read the report.

You can get the full Gartner 2014 UC report via Microsoft with no sign up/1 click, click here


2014 Gartner Unified Communications Report: (August 4, 2014)

2012 and 2013 Reports:

Microsoft Analyst Reports:

Commentary on Gartner 2014 Report:

Other: Click Here