This post has been updated several times – be sure to read all the way to the bottom to see the latest updates, as this has become even easier to accomplish.
Microsoft Lync is the latest evolution of Microsoft Office Communicator – an instant message server / client geared towards enterprises that want to offer instant messaging to employees in a secured and controlled fashion. Â It’s also one of the worst IM clients I’ve had the (dis)pleasure of using.
Admittedly I have been using the Mac version, Â so you know right there it’s not going to be that great. Â However there are three basic gripes I have with the client which cause me to hate it:
- It either crashes, or drops it’s connection, frequently. Â This is not just a daily occurrence, sometimes it happens multiple times an hour. Â It’s worth noting that when this happens I also lose any open conversations.
- It’s hideously ugly*
- It lacks tabbed chat windows. Â This is a feature that every major IM client has had for a decade.
My favorite IM client – by far – is Adium. Â Adium is the single most configurable IM client I have ever seen, allowing you to customize everything about it, from the way it looks to the scripts that it executes when certain events occur. Â The community around it is large and active, providing a wealth of plugging and add-ons to meet any need you could possibly have. Â It’s simply the most gorgeous and useful IM client I’ve ever had the pleasure of using.
With the release of Adium 1.5, and a special plugin, it’s now finally possible to use Adium to talk to the Microsoft Communicator / Lync server. Â This means I can now use Adium instead of the hideous Lync client – something I’ve been waiting a long time for.
The setup is simple:
- Make sure you’re running Adium 1.5
- Download this plugin:Â http://db.tt/2yx5wYNt
- Install the plugin and restart Adium
- Add the new account using Office Communicator for the protocol
It doesn’t do everything (no video chat or screen sharing) – but it’s a huge step in the right direction.
[Update 5/4/12]: Â One thing Adium doesn’t do (but lync does) is set your status based off your calendar. Â I’ve addressed this via some AppleScript, as detailed here.
[Update 5/16/12]: The latest beta of Adium (1.5.1b1) uses a different version of libpurple, so the plugin doesn’t work. Â A quick workaround is to run the following commands in Terminal:
- cd /Applications/Adium.app/Contents/Frameworks/libpurple.framework/Versions
- ln -s 0.10.5 0.10.0
Once an updated plugin is available I will link to that, but this should work in the meantime.
A helpful commenter provided more information on how to get the plugin to work with 1.5.4. Â I’ve tested the steps provided and confirmed that it does work.
The requisite steps are:
Delete previous Adium.app
Download adium 1.5.4, open dmg, extract
Download plugin fromÂ http://users.rcn.com/zer0/SIPEAdiumPlugin.AdiumLibpurplePlugin(64bit).zip
Double click to install plugin
Quit Adium after it opens
Open Terminal (any directory)
- ln -s Current /Applications/Adium.app/Contents/Frameworks/libpurple.framework/Versions/0.10.0
- ln -s Current /Applications/Adium.app/Contents/Frameworks/libglib.framework/Versions/2.0.0
- ln -s Current /Applications/Adium.app/Contents/Frameworks/libintl.framework/Versions/8
- launchctl setenv NSS_SSL_CBC_RANDOM_IV 1
File > Add Acount > Office Communicator
Â [ Update 11/12/13]:Â
The latest versions of the SIPE plugin (available here:Â http://sourceforge.net/projects/sipe/files/sipe/) do not require any modifications as prior versions did. Â Download and install, restart Adium and you’re good to go. Â They also fix some of the weird problems encountered in prior versions.
* some people might not care about how an application looks, but I do. Â I hate ugly, utilitarian, software. Â As Apple has shown – make something beautiful AND useful and people will love it.