Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Mac Messenger 7 available

As announced earlier Microsoft has updated the Mac Messenger client to also support Office Communications Server 2007. Following are a few snippets (Source) showing some of the OCS related functionality of the client (It still supports Windows Live)

P2P or multi-party audio/video conferencing -

Messenger Contacts

Searching the Address Book -

Messenger Contacts

Use of Mac OS X Bonjour  to detect location and ability to add personal messages

Messenger Chat

Download from here.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Hyper-V RC0 WS08 Guest OS and multiprocessor support

When you install WS08 as a Guest OS then the WS08 media includes the earlier version of Hyper-V Integration Services, so network and other hardware devices will not work. If you launch the Integration Services CD it will tell you to go to Windows Update to upgrade the Integration Components (Catch 22 I guess).

The workaround is to 'Insert Integration Services Setup Disk' start Device Manager (devmgmt.msc) find the failing device, select 'Update Driver Software' and 'Browse my computer for driver software' - the path is then e.g. D:\support\amd64.

Second, I noticed the following limitations in multiprocessor support in Hyper-V (In the Release Notes)

For the guest operating system, install one of the following:

  • Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V, with a maximum of 4 virtual processors. No other release of Windows Server 2008 is supported with this release of Hyper-V.
  • The Windows Server 2003 operating system, with a maximum of 1 virtual processor for 64-bit and 2 virtual processors for 32-bit.

If this is also true for the RTM version (Haven't checked yet) then this product is less useful than expected for 32 bit deployment of WS03 and practically useless for 64 bit deployments of WS03 (Even though Exchange 2007 SP1 supports Windows Server 2008, many companies won't have approval/testing for this product and/or their system management, backup etc. products ready for WS08).

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

High-Definition Video and Roundtable Hardware Requirements

Historically Microsoft published a really good whitepaper on RTAudio and QoE, but information on how the RTVideo Codec works has been sparse. But at a presentation today at Interact 2008 more details were revealed (and we where promised that more details will appear, as video gets more and more attention).

Besides all the interesting stuff about High Definition video in next versions, I just briefly wanted to touch on a few things that applies to the current versions -

P2P Video Calls with VGA quality requires Dual Core (And Quad for HD in wave 13)

So you probably know that you can change from CIF to VGA quality on P2P video calls (Not conferencing) by changing a registry key. They are documented in the release notes for OC 2007 and referenced here -

To enable VGA video in a point-to-point video call, users need to set the following registry keys on both endpoints -


And restart Communicator.

But what is new to me is that the hardware requirements are actually Dual Core processors for optimal quality. It is not enforced, so VGA quality will be started with one processor, but may fall back to lower quality due to lack of CPU resoucres. In wave 13 Microsoft is talking about enforcing this requirement, so VGA will not start if you are not running from a Dual Core. In terms of HD (720P) conferencing the current requirement is going to be Quad Core processors and again the requirement will be enforced.

Roundtable quality requires Dual Core

Dual Core Processors are required for Roundtable Panorama Video but again it is not enforced, so Roundtable and Panorama Vidoe quality will be started with one processor, but may fall back to lower quality due to lack of CPU resoucres).

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Microsoft Mac Messenger update / Bloggers lunch at Interact08

Today at Interact 2008 I was invited to a Bloggers Lunch hosted by Eileen Brown. It was really good use of time and we had some interesting discussions with key Microsoft Executives including Kim Akers, UC Marketing General Manager; Eric Swift, UC Marketing Senior Director; David Lemson, Exchange Group General Manager and Amritansh Raghav, Office Communications Group, General Manager.

As part of the lunch we got what all bloggers want - news not previously announced (and that we are allowed to blog about) - so here it is ;-)

Microsoft is going to release a updated version of Mac Messenger that integrates with Office Communications Server 2007 and will include the following features -

  • Rich presence
  • Instant Messaging
  • Audio/video
  • Directory search
  • Dual sign-in with Live Messenger / OCS

So good news for all you Mac users out there. I was actually invited to participate in the beta's for this client - but my company is Mac-free area (all though I'm pretty impressed by the Vista capable MacBook Pro line of notebooks )

Friday, April 04, 2008

CU at Interact08 or MVP Summit ?

I'm leaving for Interact08 in San Diego on Monday and will be there until Sunday where I travel to MVP Summit.

At Interact08 I will (besides meetings and networking) focus my time on learning about Microsoft Online Services, Exchange Server 2007 and maybe a few OCS 2007 sessions.

At MVP Summit I guess most of my time will be spent on learning about OCS Wave 13/14 and I really look forward to this as this is my first MVP Summit.

Maybe we will meet at one of the events !? Feel free to leave a comment or contact me at e-mail/sip my.initials@inceptio.dk .

MVP Award for 2008

Some good news (for me anyway). On April first I received my MVP Award for 2008 and this (almost ;-) personal note from Mr. Ballmer himself -


As the independent voice of users worldwide, your influence on technical communities is felt in many ways—enhancing people’s lives and contributing to our industry’s success. We’re deeply grateful to you for sharing your feedback, comments, answers, and expertise with technical communities. In recognition of your commitment, Microsoft is pleased to honor you with the Most Valuable Professional Award. Thank you for empowering the community with your outstanding leadership!

Steven A. Ballmer
Chief Executive Officer
Microsoft Corporation


Thank you for your exceptional contributions to technical communities! It gives us great pleasure to present you with the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Award for the technical expertise you generously provide to others. By sharing your knowledge, experience, and objective feedback, you inspire and help people to solve problems and discover new capabilities every day. We are honored to welcome you as a Microsoft MVP.

Rich Kaplan
Vice President, Supportability & CPE
Microsoft Corporation

Office Communicator 2007 update released

Microsoft released a new update for OC 2007 and the update fixes the following issues -

949894 - Presence functions are disabled in Communicator 2007 when you use a time zone that includes a negative partial hour on a client computer

948733 - Error message when you try to shut down a client computer that is running Office Communicator 2007: "The data file 'Mailbox - user' was not closed properly"

950492 - You cannot manually change your status from "Away" in Communicator 2007 when you use a portable computer to connect to a remote computer

948159 - Error message in Communicator 2007 if the Outlook profile file name contains non-English characters: "There was a problem connecting to Microsoft Office Outlook"

948737 - A Communicator 2007 user hears a long dial tone mixed with the streaming audio if the user takes a USB telephony device handset off the hook and then uses the device to stream audio from another application

948120 - An audio conference or a video conference fails in Communicator 2007 when you try to invite a new participant to create a multiparty conference

Find the KB/download here.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Windows Server 2008 Exam Offer

MS has an offer where you can get a 40% discount on two exams. Register here to get the savings code.

Free Windows Server 2008 and PowerShell Scripting e-Books

Get them from here, the home of Windows Server 2008 learning, switch to the special offers tab, scroll down to Books from Microsoft Press. I cannot construct a direct link, so you have to work your way through yourself.