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Office Communicator

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What is Office Communicator? Well, Office Communicator team Director Andrew Sinclair sits down with us and tells us all about it.

Enjoy

Download Size: 66 MB

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  • scobleizerscobleizer I'm the video guy
    By the way, this is one of the coolest new things I've seen lately. It's completely changed how I work.
  • Scoble, personal request, if you do another interview and it is with someone who works on Outlook, can you ask them how they suggest synchronising up a laptop on a WIFI network with a primary PC?

    Note: This post is subject to editing as I watch the video (2% downloaded.
  • scobleizerscobleizer I'm the video guy

    Manip: synchronize Outlook? Or synchronize your PC in general?

    Exchange keeps my Outlook synchronized automatically among multiple machines.

  • scobleizerscobleizer I'm the video guy
    Manip: also, do you have Outlook 2003? That synchronizes a LOT better than previous versions.
  • Tom ServoTom Servo W-hat?
    Why do corporations get a cool looking IM client, and we have to mess around with this annoying MSN messenger?
  • Because you get what you pay for...  Wink

  • Stevan VeselinovicSteve411 Me, all suited up!

    I beta tested that sucker. They did a great job indeed! Smiley

    by the way, i agree with scoble as to how cool this app is!

  • scobleizer wrote:

    Manip: synchronize Outlook? Or synchronize your PC in general?

    Exchange keeps my Outlook synchronized automatically among multiple machines.



    I have Outlook 2003 on a laptop, and again on a PC. I have no domain controller, don't own Exchange etc. But want / need to be able to synchronise the calenders and mail on both as I connect to the WIFI network without playing with the import wizard.
  • CiderCider Daze-d & Confused
    I really want to look into this as a deployable solution.  Its just the total future of communication.

    Question, if anyone from Office Comm team is watching, we don't have IP telephony at all yet, so not looking into that as yet.

    What I'd be really interested in is more enterprise-scale IM features and having it as a method of collaboration and support.

    For instance, a big one would be being able to set support roles.  For instance, in a University, if a student sits down at a computer in a lab, they get pushed on a session-only basis the relevant support individual/team for that lab.  And that team can be multiple people who can then have rights to help them via remote assistance etc.  Also, wondering how much collaborative application-sharing type stuff you can do over Office Comm.
  • Get yourself a hosted Exchange account. A good one is http://www.4smartphone.com/ because it is cheap, reliable and they provide smartphone synchronization, too.

    Both your machines will now be looking at exactly the same information and if you have a Smartphone, it will sync up your e-mail, contacts and calendar, too.

    - Chris

  • Manip wrote:

    I have Outlook 2003 on a laptop, and again on a PC. I have no domain controller, don't own Exchange etc. But want / need to be able to synchronise the calenders and mail on both as I connect to the WIFI network without playing with the import wizard.

    Manip,
      Your problem is that you want the client to provide you a solution to which there is no sustainable network protocol.

      You could do this with ICAL and IMAP, but you've previously indicated that your ISP doesn't support them (and I don't think that Outlook supports ICAL).

      Before Outlook can be clever about maintaining state, it needs to be run with a server that's capable of maintaining state.  Your email server isn't.
  • Oh man... this office communicator ( Live communications server ) is a total copy of Verizon's Iobi product  ( http://www.verizon.com/iobi ). 

     I am trying to remember this... it was 2 or 3 years ago, one senior executive from Verizon shared the stage with BillG at COMDEX ( or was it Consumer Electronics show ) and gave a presentation of Iobi product. And now i am seeing it being copied. Totally unbelievable.

     So you guys copied Iobi concept from Verizon and all three IMs integration from Trillian concept ( www.trillian.cc )  and made a product out of it ?

  • what do you mean copy ??? I have to ask why everyone always gets on MS's case for making good products. I recently got into a conversation about this and all i hear is how MS copies everything and shuts everyone else down with its interop between all its apps... My answer to that is, its there set of applications. I mean why not make them work with there own applications.

    I don't know how you can call office communicator a copy of these other two application you mention just because it does the same thing. Upon your very own logic I could call firefox a copy of IE because it surfs the web like IE does... Office communicator goes beyond trillian or basic communications. It goes to that next level. Where consumers can communicate on a larger level in the enterprise world. If you want to use verizon's application then use it. no one is holding a gun to your head and saying you have to use Office Communicator. if you come back with, "thats not fair it will not have the interop that Office Communicator has with all the MS applications"; here again thats just tough luck. Microsoft should have the right to build applications that work well with its own applications. 

    I did not intend to post in regards to the last post I actually wanted to ask robert when this film was made?
  • Can you also aks the Outlook team if they plan to release a free calendaring application for Windows XP or earlier. Or if they paln to improve a bit Outlook Express. The competition there is in free e-mail and calendaring product is superior. I know that Outlook 2003 might be better but not everyone works at a corporation and not everyone want to buy Outlook. Mac OSX include free applications in the OS which do almost if not all that Outlook does for free. Why not Windows? And how come nobody has ever complained for the lack of spam filtering in Outlook Express?

  • DCMonkeyDCMonkey What?!?
    I'd like to see this and Live Communications Server get included into Small Business Server. LCS used to be in there but was removed for SBS 2003.
  • MSN Messenger should have had the same level of usability for consumers like Office Communiatior has for enterprises. The two main issues I have with MSN Messenger are:
    1. That unlike Communicator it has no Office integration, which would have been extremely useful even for home users. For exmple, contacts are not synchronized with Outlook and the integration of Outlook with MSN Messenger is poor and at times broken. Outlook Express is not even supported. This is a shame since consumer like enterprise users need a single place for storing contacts and im addresses not a whole set of separate locations.
    2. MSN Messenger does not support the same set of features in all countries. Integration with MSN Search, Video conferencing, Photo sharing, Mobile telephony and SMS, only if you are lucky to live in a country like the US.
    3. MSN Messenger unlike Communicator does not itegrate with the phone. This is something that not only enterprise users need. Why not consumers?
    Overall, Microsoft should improve MSN Messenger for consumers much faster, instead of providing useful features to only enterprise users. Have these points in mind please when talking to the MSN Messenger Team.
    And one other thing, how do you manage talking to a big number of contacts in MSN Messenger? There should be a way to block a group of contacts temporarily and unblock them later. If I hvae 50 contacts and I want to sign in just to talk to 5 of them, today it is not possible. It makes signing in to Messegner a pain.

  • As DCMonkey said, it would be nice if LCS was added back into Small Business Server, unfortunately I only started using SBS with the release of SBS 2003, so couldn't get LCS with software assurance.
  • figuerresfiguerres ???
    "Comminicator"  and the "follow me" phone features make me think of Star Trek  --  so now we need verbal input:

    Computer, Patch me thru to Bill.

    Do you mean Mr. Gates?

    Smiley
  • " I don't know how you can call office communicator a copy of these other two application you mention just because it does the same thing. "

    So a Verizon executive gets invited to demo their product... and the next thing you know Microsoft copies their product and peddles it as "innovation". And according to you that's not a copy ...  riiggght.


    "Upon your very own logic I could call firefox a copy of IE because it surfs the web like IE does... "

     errrrr.... bad example... don't you know that Firefox is the original Mozilla that was developed by the same guys who created MOSAIC ? Geez man... IE still continues to license MoSAIC.


     "Office communicator goes beyond trillian or basic communications. It goes to that next level."

      Oh it goes to the next level alright.... plagiarizing that is..


     "Where consumers can communicate on a larger level in the enterprise world."

      LOL! ....  how are consumers coming in to the picture here ? please tell me you don't know the basic difference between consumer applications and Enterprise applications.


    "If you want to use verizon's application then use it."

     
    I am using it. The consumer version that is. And it's got much better cool UI than Office communicator. Oh.. and by the way...  Office communicator, as it is designed now, doesn't work in the consumer space.  So as far this type of application is concerned, Verizon currently has total monopoly in the consumer space.


     " not fair it will not have the interop that Office Communicator has with all the MS applications"

     What Interop ?   did you miss the point until now ? The complaint here is about the copying THE BASIC PRODUCT IDEA itself... nobody cares about the insignificant "interop".

     By the way, i hope LCS is not copying this idea. Because if it does....

  • Can it connect to ICQ?

  • I love this thing. I'm a student, and I could come up with some neat ways to use this. We do a lot of team-projects, so we are constantly sending back and forth powerpoints or meet at the library sitting in front of a laptop to discuss some issue. If this was made available to universities and students at a reasonable price, I guess it could really take of, and make life so much easier for us.
  • rasxrasx Emperor of String.Empty
    First, I'm glad that we have someone from the Office Team coming down from their old mountain of cash to talk to us on Channel 9...

    I look forward to using Microsoft "data transformation services" on the Cisco IP Phone sitting on my desk right now. This new comminucator product suggests that such data interchange and management will be a recognized scenario at Microsoft in a few years. I am aware of Cisco's own SDKs but I look forward to Microsoft's ease of use and expertise!
  • Wow.

    Being a desktop telephony developer, I'm in awe at the amount of work that has been put into this.

    This is seriously cool. I can't wait to have a play with it. I'm glad Microsoft are just aiming at the enterprise though, there might still be room for my stuff in the smaller business market.

    Hopefully the developer tools for this platform make it easy for building add-ons and integrating with other third party contact databases.


  • moofishmoofish Living in Scotland, UK
    I would like to see transcripts of audio/video conversation automatically made from voice recognition software. I would also like to see subtitles appear on the screen in real-time when video conferencing.

    **would like to see the above suggestions, recording for voice and video as well as other IM support in MSN IM for home users **

    ...Oh and what about adding trillian users Smiley
  • scobleizer wrote:

    Manip: synchronize Outlook? Or synchronize your PC in general?

    Exchange keeps my Outlook synchronized automatically among multiple machines.



    I have an Exchange server.  And you can pry it from my cold, dead hands.

    But before a few months ago, I didn't have an Exchange server.  Those were the dark times.

    Seriously though... One thing I want more than anything from Microsoft is very simple:

    Exchange Personal Edition.

    I would actually name it something cooler, but I'm being realistic in my request Tongue Out

    MSN has worked toward this with Hotmail (which, as I understand, is now Exchange 2003 powered) - offering very good Outlook integration (for e-mail, calendar, contacts, etc).

    But there are still a lot of features it lacks.  If they added full mobile support (ie. Server Activesync) and OWA... it would be close.  They also need to fix the way Outlook rules apply to secondary accounts.
  • There is an Exchange Personal Edition on the Office 2003 setup CD. It's just not installed by default.
  • thkthk
    hi everyone..

      I would like to ask something about the Live communication server. Everyone know what the functionalities of LCS so do i. But my problem here is i would like to know whether we can connect one server to another server. For eg.,connect SIP server with the LCS. Have someone try it before? Can someone help me in this problem?
  • Srikanth_t wrote:
    Oh man... this office communicator ( Live communications server ) is a total copy of Verizon's Iobi product  ( http://www.verizon.com/iobi ). 

     I am trying to remember this... it was 2 or 3 years ago, one senior executive from Verizon shared the stage with BillG at COMDEX ( or was it Consumer Electronics show ) and gave a presentation of Iobi product. And now i am seeing it being copied. Totally unbelievable.

     So you guys copied Iobi concept from Verizon and all three IMs integration from Trillian concept ( www.trillian.cc )  and made a product out of it ?



    OK, you have a very good point, Srikanth_t.  At first I didn't believe you, but I checked out Verizon's Iobi Enterprise, and it is strikingly similar.  However, I do notice that there is video and VOIP added to the MS solution because Verizon can't or won't do either.  However, Verizon has more customized phone solutions (also for those not near a computer).  It's kind of going to be a fight to see who does it best.

    However, I really had to laugh about the very similar look and feel to Trillian.  I use Trillian v3.1 and it is much better than any individual parts of IM and better UI than Office Communicator and even has oh-so-cool transparency too!

    Finally, I'd absolutely hate to see this product deployed in my workplace.  I seriously spend enough time (3 hrs a day) commuting to and working in my workplace as it is (large financial service company in NYC).  Don't get me wrong, I like technology and all, but unless if absolutely necessary, I:
    a) refuse to give out my cell phone number to work associates
    b) have no email or IM forwarding to my cell phone
    c) have no email routing outside my work PC (except emails to self as reminders).
    d) have no call forwarding on my work phone
    e) have no form of IM installed at work and neither do fellow developers - we use this newfangled technology called "p2p talking"!

    If you wish to be tied down to your workplace by your high-tech toys, be my guest...
  • This thing is really cool! Everything is connected and integrated, and you can hide no where!
  • foobyfooby I am a Legend
    How is the Live Comms Server actually connected to the PBX?

    We are looking to deploy this as it seems to do everything we could want to, however we have already have a phone system and its gonna cost £15k to get a new one. if this can interface in to our current system then we wont need to spend all that money.

    fooby
  • fooby wrote:
    How is the Live Comms Server actually connected to the PBX?


    Same question here. I assume you guys don't have your individual phones connected to your desktop computer directly since most modern desktop machines only have modems available as extras add-ons. So does the PBX actually take the phone off the hook and dial it for you? I was looking for a whitepaper on this but couldn't find anything.

    We use Act! here which has a TAPI interface to dial phones but its pretty clumsy (no offense to the TAPI developer earlier). This might be a better solution and I'd like to know more about it.
  • harumscarumharumscarum out of memory
    looks pretty cool.
  • figuerresfiguerres ???
    fooby wrote:
    How is the Live Comms Server actually connected to the PBX?

    We are looking to deploy this as it seems to do everything we could want to, however we have already have a phone system and its gonna cost £15k to get a new one. if this can interface in to our current system then we wont need to spend all that money.

    fooby


    just a guess here but:

    classic PBX systems will have support for serial terminals ala VT100 and the like.

    often software is written that just "drives" that session ala-screen-scrape.

    better PBX systems may have ports for other control methods.

    at some point they all use SS7 thats the telco control std. but small PBX'es will only "read" that
    but a large one may be a "Switch" and that means full ss7 features.

    and by the way a T1 is really just a fancy serial port Smiley
  • *sigh*

    My workmates never cease to astound me.

    I forwarded this video on to a few of them, and the majority of them responded with a comment like, "We've had this for three years!"

    Well, yeah - we've had VoIP with a stand-alone management program. And we've had Lotus SameTime for corporate IM. And we've had MSN Messenger for Internet IM. And I'm sure we've had a few other stand-alone programs for all the other things this application can do.

    But we've never had them integrated into one place like this. I don't understand why my colleagues can't see this.

    Deltaphobia?
  • doomerdoomer xxx
    don't work with ICQ, right?
  • soesoe
    Manip, you should take a look at the Super Flexible File Synchronizer sw @ http://www.superflexible.com/

    Works splendidly on my tablet pc and synchronizes with my home pc over wifi. I'm not synching Outlook information, though. Have asked the developer to improve the program with regards of Outlook friendliness.

    soe
  • Travis HTravis H Travis Howle - Elwoh Software, Inc.
    This thing is really cool.  I can tell lots of times, almost everytime that it is more usefull than MSN Messenger.
  • Looks like Trillian on steroids. Good stuff. How much is the server product? Also, what are the requirements for the desk phone integration?
  • TommyNatorTommyNator Even coders need a bath... soon™
    nektar wrote:

    MSN Messenger should have had the same level of usability for consumers like Office Communiatior has for enterprises. The two main issues I have with MSN Messenger are:
    1. That unlike Communicator it has no Office integration, which would have been extremely useful even for home users. For exmple, contacts are not synchronized with Outlook and the integration of Outlook with MSN Messenger is poor and at times broken. Outlook Express is not even supported. This is a shame since consumer like enterprise users need a single place for storing contacts and im addresses not a whole set of separate locations.
    2. MSN Messenger does not support the same set of features in all countries. Integration with MSN Search, Video conferencing, Photo sharing, Mobile telephony and SMS, only if you are lucky to live in a country like the US.
    3. MSN Messenger unlike Communicator does not itegrate with the phone. This is something that not only enterprise users need. Why not consumers?
    Overall, Microsoft should improve MSN Messenger for consumers much faster, instead of providing useful features to only enterprise users. Have these points in mind please when talking to the MSN Messenger Team.
    And one other thing, how do you manage talking to a big number of contacts in MSN Messenger? There should be a way to block a group of contacts temporarily and unblock them later. If I hvae 50 contacts and I want to sign in just to talk to 5 of them, today it is not possible. It makes signing in to Messegner a pain.



    Hi, this is my first post. Anyways, I totally agree about what you're writing here. What really caught my attention about your post the most is that you're asking for the SAME "temporary block group" functionality that I've been thinking about for the past few months myself.

    Now and then I come up with ideas of functionality that MSN Messenger is lacking, features that would drastically improve the user experience etc. and I can't for the sake of sanity understand why Microsoft haven't thought of and implemented such featueres yet in their free MSN Messenger client. Lack of creativity perhaps?

    I have tried to speculate that they're withholding features and not advancing MSN Messenger because they aim to sell these kinds of "luxury editions" of their software expensively to Enterprises. I mean, MSN Messenger only costs them a whole lot to run because it's free, so it's only logical, but honestly why would MS do such a thing when it has nothing to do with the every day consumer anyways?

    The MSN Messenger client should've been (much) better than it is today.

    By the way, I don't like it how posting in Opera isn't supported on this forum. Anyone know how to get the Word editor thing show up in Opera? I don't like having to use IE because of this.
  • gshyamngshyamn Shyam
    I think this is a really cool app. The amount of collaboration support in it is truly amazing.

    I would love to see an inbuilt whiteboard feature that would allow participants to draw and scribble like on a real whiteboard.
  • moofishmoofish Living in Scotland, UK
    You do realise that this type of application is what people expect to form part of the eHome utopia, intelligent services and everything just working together is what people are hoping for. But somehow I don't see this being made available any time soon, for free that is, and so I ask when will it be part of messenger?
  • NeoTOMNeoTOM OMG WTF REDESIGN
    So how did you guys do the PBX interop with the PC?
  • downlord it  for  me
  • NeoTOMNeoTOM OMG WTF REDESIGN
    NeoTOM wrote:
    So how did you guys do the PBX interop with the PC?


    Because I want to write a PBX-interfacing application for my PC.
  • Hello,

    My company has just started using Office Communicator and it works great.  However, when we are running a group chat (having multiple people in a single chat, duh), it seems to time out and drop people after about 10-minutes.  Does anyone know how to make it so this does not timout?
  • Uh...if we are going to be pedantic then all of these IM programs are copies of ICQ. And yes, ICQ had a beta enterprise version before it got acquired by AOL.

    And didn't Lotus create an enterprise IM client years ago, as well?

    All this argument about "copying" is a bit pointless isn't it - it's about continuous improvement.  And like it or not, Microsoft
    does a pretty good job of it.

    Cool
  • Is it possible to record a conversation that you have in Office Communicatior? Like a call from PC to Phone, Mobile, Computer?

    Anyone know it this can be done?
  • GraysonPeddieGrayson​Peddie Hi. This is Grayson. I'm ​visually/he​aring impaired
    Hi. I'm hearing impaired so I have a question. About connecting a phone to a computer and hook up to VoIP, I don't think it will be compatible with a TTY (teletypewriter for the deaf and hard-of-hearing; sends/receives text over telephone via sound), am I correct? I don't really think it will make any sense to have TTY along with Office Communicator because in the Enterprise-sized workplace, others can IM me and don't have to use a telephone. There's IP-Relay (Relay that takes the place of me and speaks to the caller while I type and types back to me for a response from caller) out there for hard-of-hearing and deaf, so if I'm going to call a voice person outside the work place, then that's not a problem, since I don't have to dial 9 to get outside the line. It's "Internet-based."

    ----------

    dotnetjunkie wrote:
    There is an Exchange Personal Edition on the Office 2003 setup CD. It's just not installed by default.


    What edition of Office 2003 do you have to have which came with Exchange Personal Edition? And where can I find it in CD?

    ----------

    By the way, cool video, but without subtitles I can't understand what everyone's saying, except in some parts of the video I hear "butterfly," MSN, Communicator, Office, and that's far I can recognize.
  • Hi everybody!

    I'm having problems with Office Communicator in some computers in my office. When you try to open the page to login, an Internet Explorer error appears and close the application. I've already reinstalled IE, installed all the SP avaible and it didn't worked out. Sad

    Please, help....Perplexed


    Tks!
  • MEROVINGIANMEROVINGIAN Every beginning must have an end.
    The office communicator uses rtcdll.dll for its RTP communication, how come M$ did not make this available for the Mobile 5 platform via an interop or in the compact framework.  There are numerous posts out there for people looking to develop custom VOIP applications for the mobile platform and are having to move to other platforms or 3rd party providers.  I work for a company that develops sip based software and we are a M$ centric shop and a valued M$ partner.  It would be great for us to use mobile 5.0 with the RTC component instead of going through a 3rd party.  It is obvious that it can be done without the need to use platform builder, since when you install the communicator you can do voip....what gives.....Embarassed
  • Do we have a chat log option other than mail chat log option in Office communicator... the windows messenger 5.0 had an addin like MsgPlus which used to do a decent job... but having a log would be an easy reference for checking the log at a later time... just a thought...Smiley

    ps: i didnt find the right forum to post this... so posting it here... as it has info abt the communicator... any help on this is appreciated
  • Did you ever find out about the chat log?  I sorely miss that!
  • Yes, chat logging should be there in Office Communicator as in MSN Messenger or by using MSGPlus with Windows Messenger.
  • I have LCS running in my environment and I notice if I have Office Communicator signed in on two different computers it always goes to the last computer I signed on or which ever status is showing Online.  Is there a way to only have Office Communicator logged on to one computer at a time or show the conversation on both computers at the same time?  GroupWise Messenger shows the conversation on all computers that you have GroupWise Messenger logon too.

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