As new Cumulative Updates are released for Lync 2013, patches as well as new features are now going to be released. Microsoft’s listed information for the July 2013 CU does not include references to any new features or functionality, however after installing the update and joining via a web client a new button appears in the “Present” window for question and answer sessions. While this has not been added to the thick client yet, it may appear this “Patch Tuesday” July 9th 2013.
By clicking on the Q&A button a notification that new content has been added and the pane is opened in the “stage” area that has a box for typing questions and answers. Type a question into the box that says “Ask a question”
After asking a question it will move up to the main part of the window where you can see two ways to filter questions to just find “all” or “unanswered”. If a question hasn’t had an answer supplied there is a blue link, called “Answer” to type a reply.
From what I can tell anyone can answer these questions, but would assume controls will be put into place to control who can answer questions like “Presenter Only” similar to the below Lync meeting options.
The Q&A session can be saved at any time by clicking the “Save as…” button. By clicking this button a window pops up with a transcript of the text to copy/paste into other applications if needed.
I believe Microsoft will release more features like this to match what LiveMeeting and the Attendant Console provided for holding and organizing large meetings. This has been a complaint about Lync since 2010 and is hopefully an item Microsoft is now focused on to better compete with other conferencing solutions.