What I Use – January 2015

January 13, 2015

It’s been nearly a year since I’ve done a “what I use” article.  My inspiration for this concept is from Paul Thurrott’s.  I find his article interesting and given the daily e-mails about “what do you use here” I thought I would write one up again.  As always, if you have questions use the commends or richard@masteringlync.com.

My previous article can be found here and comes nearly one year later.  I would also like to note that nearly everything you find on this list I pay for to use.  If there is an exception, I’m happy to note it.

Lastly, these are my own thoughts and not those of my employer.


This last year has been an experiment of several different headsets but I found myself always coming back to my Jabra BIZ 2400 USB Duo.  Why?  Because they sound fantastic and after nearly two years of use they haven’t broke.  You can still find these online and for less than $125.00 in most cases.  An absolute steal!

But that all changed a few weeks ago when Jabra sent me a demo pair of Evolve 80 Headset.  To say these have changed my habits of Lync is absolutely true.  The Advanced Noise Cancellation and sound quality are simply amazing.  They are so nice that since I’ve had them, I’ve already bought two other pairs of them, one for my wife who is a Director in Tupperware and on her computer all the time and my daughter who spends more time on Hangouts than any person I’ve met.  They simply are that great!  Some people have complained that they are a bit tight on their head and I could potentially see that but I think I’m wearing them 4 to 5 hours a day right now.  Hopefully the build quality is as good as the 2400’s.

My on the go headset is switched back and forth between the Plantronics Voyager Legend and Jabra MOTION.  I get a bit better range for whatever reason with my MOTION than I do the Legend in my home so if I’m wireless I seem to default to that device more often – but honestly – since I’ve gotten my Evolve 80’s I can’t remember the last time I’ve used either of these devices.

Desk Phones

All sorts of controversy of who has the best desk phone for Lync.  Let me start by saying I would guess that less than 5% of all calls are made via a desk phone now (most likely even less than that).

My default device is a Polycom CX600.  This device simply works!  There is no other way to describe it.  Yes, it doesn’t have all the features of an 3PIP phones but if I want to just take something out of the box and use it, this is the device to go to.

I still have a VVX600 and a SNOM 821 on my desk as well.  These devices are there solely for testing different things.  I still believe in my heart that the VVX600 will overtake the CX600 – it’s just one or two firmware updates away I believe.

Portable Sound

Nothing has changed here since the last update.  I use my Jabra Soulmate all the time when listening to my music around the house or on the road.  This is definitely one area that I’m going to look into for 2015 because I need a better in home audio solution.

Mobile Phone

I’m still one of 12 people who use Windows Phone.  My daily phone is a Nokia 920.  For me the combination of Wireless Charging, NFC Payments and the apps I use are perfect.  If I’m traveling with the family, I swap SIM’s and use a Nokia 1020 because the camera is AMAZING.  The camera “hump” is just a bit annoying to carry in the pocket all the time but all in all it’s a great device.

I have an iPhone 5S for testing and a Nokia 900 (although testing Windows 7.x is pretty meaningless now).


I bought into the “tablet that can replace your laptop” before it became that.  My daily computer is a Surface Pro 2 / 128 GB.  I have that connected to a Surface Pro 2 Docking Station and a USB Pluggable UD-3900 docking station.  This setup gives me three monitors at my desk.  That computer is connect to three Dell 24 inch monitors.

The Surface becomes my daily tablet when I hit the road.  I also have a MacBook Pro 13 inch to use a test machine for any Mac OS X work I need to do.



Written by Richard Richard is an Office Apps & Services MVP (Teams / Skype) who lives in Minneapolis, MN. Microsoft Certified Solutions Master (MCSM) and MCSM Instructor - when those were a thing long ago. When not writing code, breaking teams - debate coach and avid golfer.
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