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July 2009

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Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Hotfix KB 968802, KB 970275, and more

July 29, 2009

Almost missed some major KB updates & hotfixes to OCS 2007 R2 that Microsoft just put online yesterday.

Fixes are many, especially in OCS 2007 R2 Hotfix KB 966802. It includes the following fixes:
  • Update for Application Host
    967832  ( ) Description of the update package for Communications Server 2007 R2 Application Host: April 2009
  • Update for Application Sharing Server
    971296  ( ) Description of the update package for Office Communications Server 2007 R2, Application Sharing Server: July 2009
  • Update for Administration Tools
    971289  ( ) Description of the update package for Office Communications Server 2007 R2, Administration Tools: July 2009
  • Update for Audio/Video Conferencing
    971793  ( ) Description of the update package for Office Communications Server 2007 R2, Audio/Video Conferencing Server: July 2009
  • Update for Core Components
    971299  ( ) Description of the update package for Office Communications Server 2007 R2, Core Components: July 2009
  • Update for Communicator Web Access
    969824  ( ) Description of the update package for Office Communications Server 2007 R2, Communicator Web Access: July 2009
  • Update for Conferencing Attendant
    968922  ( ) Description of the update package for Office Communications Server 2007 R2, Conferencing Attendant: July 2009
  • Update for Conferencing Announcement Service
    969823  ( ) Description of the update package for Office Communications Server 2007 R2, Conferencing Announcement Service: July 2009
  • Update for Monitoring Server
    971298  ( ) Description of the update package for Office Communications Server 2007 R2, Monitoring Server: July 2009
  • Update for Mediation Server
    969835  ( ) Description of the update package for Office Communications Server 2007 R2, Mediation Server: July 2009
  • Update for Outside Voice Control
    967835  ( ) Description of the update package for Communications Server 2007 R2, Outside Voice Control: April 2009
  • Update for Response Group Service
    967829  ( ) Description of the update package for Communications Server 2007 R2, Response Group Service: April 2009
  • • Update for Standard/Enterprise edition Server
    969821  ( ) Description of the update package for Office Communications Server 2007 R2: July, 2009
  • Update for Standard/Enterprise edition Server Back End
    969834  ( ) Description of the update package for Office Communications Server 2007 R2 database: July, 2009
  • Update for Unified Communications Managed API 2.0 Core Redist 64-bit
    970679  ( ) Description of the update package for Office Communications Server 2007 R2, Unified Communications Managed API 2.0 Core Redist 64-bit: July 2009
  • Update for Web Conferencing Server
    971297  ( ) Description of the update package for Office Communications Server 2007 R2, Web Conferencing Server: July 2009
  • Update for Web Components Server
    967830  ( ) Description of the update package for Communications Server 2007 R2, Web Components: April 2009
Another KB update (KB 970275) released yesterday was "Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Attendant Hotfix KB 970275"

This update package fixes the following issue:
  • 972402  ( ) Office Communicator 2007 R2 runs concurrently with Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Attendant
Lastly, Microsoft yesterday released the latest version of the Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Capacity Planning Tool

Cool Office Communications Server Remote Connectivity Analyzer

July 29, 2009

James Stine has released a cool utility called "Office Communications Server Remote Connectivity Analyzer". It's a great online tool for performing testing, troubleshooting, and diagnostics on OCS 2007 deployments. James said, "Following on the heels of success of the Exchange Remote Connectivity Analyzer (created by Shawn McGrath and Brad Hughes), Premal Gandhi, Matthew Fresoli and I have been busy designing and writing a complimentary tool: The Office Communications Server Remote Connectivity Analyzer."

Microsoft OCS 2007 R2 Documentation

July 29, 2009

Microsoft just published the latest and greatest version of their OCS 2007 R2 documentation. I asked the official Microsoft OCS MVP mailing list, "Is there anything new about the OCS 2007 R2 docs contained on this page or is this just a centralized repository of all the Word docs and the single .chm help file?" I added, "Perhaps this is the first "official" 1.0 release of ALL the documentation?"

All you know-it-all techies out here are probably thinking, "Documentation? We don't need no stinkin' documentation!"

Yeah, in most cases I'm right there with ya, but not something as complicated as OCS 2007 R2. I often tell users who come to me repeatedly with the same IT question to go RTFM.

D2 Technologies Showcases its mCUE Converged Communications Client with Embedded VoIP for Android at OESF Japan

July 28, 2009

Some interesting news from D2 Technologies about them showcasing their mCUE™ converged communications client with embedded VoIP for Android at OESF Japan. I should point out that D2's mCUE mobile convergence software solution combines a communications user interface with the company's vPort MP VoIP software platform and is targeted towards OEMs and service providers to help deliver integrated Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC) and Unified Communications (UC) functionality.

At OESF they will demo how mCUE can enable VoIP, video chat and other IP communications capabilities in stationary Android-based embedded equipment and consumer electronics devices. With mCUE, these devices can offer premium multi-service unified communications capabilities and deliver simultaneous interoperability with any communication service provider, Instant Messaging (IM) community or social networking platform. All popular communication modes are converged to a single communications user interface (UI), including circuit switched voice (PSTN or cellular), VoIP, Instant Messaging (IM), SMS and video chat.

Full release after the jump...

Microsoft OCS Call Recording

July 28, 2009

Last week, I wrote how Microsoft is making inroads in the enterprise with their Office Communications Server 2007 R2 platform and how they are looking to achieve five 9s of reliability. Well, one other critical feature needed for an enterprise phone system is decent call recording. Unfortunately, there does not seem to be a lot of options for call recording on OCS 2007. One of the problems is that not all calls go through a PBX.

For instance, you can use the Microsoft Communicator client to call a co-worker who is also using Communicator.

Google Voice + Gizmo5 = Free Inbound & Outbound Calls

July 27, 2009

Google Voice just added SIP connectivity through Gizmo5 which basically enables FREE inbound and outbound calling! With the Gizmo5-to-Google Voice connectivity not only can you can connect any SIP device (softphone, IP phone), but you can even use regular telephones for free calls in the entire United States. Google Voice already offers DID numbers in nearly every area code, which means businesses, especially SMBs can take advantage of this without resorting to some obscure out-of-state area code.

As you already know, Google Voice already gives you FREE outbound calling in the U.S., but the missing piece of the puzzle is free INBOUND calling. Well, Gizmo5's beta service called Gizmo Voice is the final piece to the puzzle.

Grandstream GXE5024 Review

July 27, 2009

In today's increasing cost-conscious economy, SMBs are looking for feature-rich IP-PBXs at the lowest cost. Many SMBs are willing to sacrifice some advanced telephony features to just get the basics, including call transfer, three-way conferencing, auto-attendant, and voicemail. Advanced features such as call queues or call recording are nice features to have, but many SMBs aren't willing to pay for higher-end IP-PBXs with this functionality. Fortunately, Grandstream's GXE5024 and GXE5028 products not only have the "basics", they also have some advanced functionality such as call queues -- and at a reasonable price of just $899 for the GXE5024 and $1399 for the GXE5028. Grandstream sent me a GXE5024 for a test drive review.

First, the only difference between the GXE5024 and the GXE5028 is the number of analog PSTN FXO ports - 4 ports vs.

iPhone video test using email-to-blog script

July 25, 2009

Microsoft Communicator Mobile 2007 R2 Update

July 24, 2009

Microsoft Office Communicator Mobile is a versatile Java-based unified communications client for Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2. Communicator Mobile runs on Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.0 or higher which includes Pocket PC and smartphone devices.

It also supports:
  • Motorola Razr V3xx
  • Nokia S40 series: Nokia 3120 Classic, Nokia 3600 slide, Nokia 5220/5310/5610 XpressMusic, Nokia 6212 classic, Nokia 6300i, Nokia 6301, Nokia 6500 classic, Nokia 6500 slide, Nokia 6600 fold, Nokia 6600 slide, Nokia 7210/7310/7510/7610 Super Nova, Nokia 7900 Prism, Nokia 8800 Arte.
  • Nokia S60 series: Nokia E 51/63/66/71, Nokia N95
This month they released an important hotfix update for Communicator Mobile 2007 R2.

What's cool about Communicator Mobile 2007 R2 is that it enables users running the app on their mobile phone to make work calls using their corporate phone system leveraging "Single Number Reach" functionality. This allows you to use a single telephone number on your business card.

Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Site Resiliency White Paper

July 24, 2009

With Microsoft making increasing inroads with their Office Communications Server 2007 R2 platform, many integrators, VARs, and end-user customers are looking to find out more information on bringing the famed "five nines" (99.999%) of reliability to OCS 2007 R2.

Well, Microsoft has just released a white paper detailing how to ensure high reliability. According to Microsoft:

Using backup and restoration procedures for site disaster recovery as described in the Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 documentation library topic Backup and Restoration, can entail some downtime for users."

This white paper describes a site resiliency solution for Office Communications Server 2007 R2. The solution includes an Enterprise pool that spans two geographically separate sites.

Microsoft OCS 2007 R2 XMPP Gateway?

July 24, 2009

I came across a Microsoft page that lists "OCS R2 XMPP Gateway" with a General Availability date of 9/28/09. Very interesting. This would enable for example Google Talk (XMPP) users to instant message (IM) OCS users. Jabber XCP has a "SIP/SIMPLE gateway"  as well, but I would assume a Microsoft OCS 2007 R2 XMPP gateway might feature tighter integration.

For instance, it might automatically sync the XMPP users with the OCS 2007 contact list, so any users added to the XMPP server are automatically added to the OCS 2007 contact database, which then gets pushed out to all the OCS 2007 Communicator clients.

Ordering AT&T iPhone 3GS - You want my business or not?

July 23, 2009

So I'm trying to order a new Apple iPhone 3GS from TMC's AT&T's Premiere business website when what do my eyes behold? No iPhones displayed on the Featured Phone web page. Say what? Is AT&T dissing Apple?

Next-gen iPod touch Features Mic, Video, and VoIP?

July 21, 2009

is reporting rumors about Apple preparing a new version of the iPod touch that includes a camera and microphone, which when combined with Skype for the iPod touch would negate the need for a home phone line. VoIP on an iPod touch? That's just heresy! Essentially, the iPod touch becomes an iPhone without the need for an AT&T contract.

The article then points out you can add a portable Verizon MiFi 3G wireless access point, which shares your 3G connection using WiFi to finally bring the iPhone experience to Verizon's 3G network.

Slacker Radio App will be pushed on to every Verizon BlackBerry Storm

July 16, 2009

The Slacker Radio streaming application, which lets users play personalized radio and buy songs from V CAST Music while they listen, will be "pushed" out to all Verizon BlackBerry Storm phones over-the-air. Whether you want it or not - though you can hide or move it to another folder.

According to Verizon, "Over the next several days, customers using the BlackBerry Storm smartphone will see the Slacker Radio application icon appear on their handsets' home screens as it is pushed over-the-air. The Slacker Radio icon gives customers one-click access to a free version of one of the most popular personalized radio services available today. "

This version of Slacker Radio also connects to V CAST Music, combining this exciting music application with Verizon Wireless' industry-leading mobile music service.

Say What? Police chief denounces 'cowardly' iPhone users monitoring speed traps

July 16, 2009

According to the Washington Examiner, D.C. police chief Cathy Lanier is "irked" that Americans are using an iPhone application to outwit speed traps and traffic cameras which uses GPS to pinpoint the location of the cameras & speedtraps and warns users as they drive. Interesting that the article mentions PhantomAlert, which is a paid subscription that lets you download their database of speed traps and cameras when their are free options such as Trapster available. I don't believe PhantomAlert is even available on the iPhone.

Google Brings Location Info to iPhone's Safari

July 16, 2009

Google just added location info to Safari on the iPhone allowing you to see local businesses very quickly with a simple search. For instance, search on "coffee" and see the closest coffee shops or search on fast food places like Burger King or McDonald's. You can see local results (Norwalk, CT) in the screenshot to the right, along with the ability to manually enter a location, update current location

It works with the new iPhone 3.0 software. All you have to do is go to Google's homepage in Safari and you'll see text that reads, "New!

Nimbuzz VoIP/IM App Has huge Apple App Store Marketshare

July 16, 2009

With yesterday's news about the new Nimbuzz for iPhone app and the launch of a Nimbuzz Mac client, I contacted Tobias Kemper, Head of Communications for Nimbuzz and asked him a question about DTMF/touch-tone support in any pending release.

Any plans for DTMF support?

Noticed when I tested it by calling my Skype for SIP account matched up to my corporate PBX that I couldn't reach my extension since there is no dialpad once the call is initiated.

I know touchtones are tricky when sent over an IP connection, which is what RFC 2833 is for. However, RFC 2833 is probably impossible for you guys to support.

However, I've found if you simulate the exact frequency tones and send that as a long tone - say 0.5s long, 99% of the time it gets transmitted just fine. Can often get away with ¼ of a second as well.

TerreStar Offers World's 1st Quad-band GSM & Tri-band WCDMA/HSPA smartphone

July 15, 2009

TerreStar Corporation
(NASDAQ: TSTR) announced that TerreStar-1, the world's largest, most advanced commercial communications satellite, has been successfully placed into its assigned orbital slot in the geosynchronous arc and has successfully deployed its 18 meter 2GHz S Band reflector, the largest commercial satellite antenna ever deployed. TerreStar remarked "TerreStar-1 is now poised to deliver the voice, data and video services over TerreStar's all IP next-generation mobile broadband network that combines the power of TerreStar-1, an all-IP core network, and the latest in smartphone technology."

One of the first advanced smartphones the satellite is designed to handle is a new Windows Mobile designed with their partner Elektrobit (EB). The mobile device can handle all of the major wireless specs, including: Dual-band WCDMA (850 and 1900), TerreStar WCDMA HSDPA 2.2 GHz, and Quad-band GSM/EGPRS (850, 900, 1800 and 1900). What this means is that this is a worldwide phone -- and if their isn't a cellular tower in the vicinity, you can switch to a satellite connection.

Nimbuzz Launches Mac client

July 15, 2009

Nimbuzz adds iPhone push notifications

July 14, 2009

Just noticed my iPhone listed an update for Nimbuzz and it now features highly-anticipated push notifications, thus allowing IMs, voicemail notification, etc. even if Nimbuzz is closed. This update also features faster login, improved buddy list layout, send & receive files and photos, and more. Downloading it now!
(ignore the date in the screenshot, that's the date the app first appeared in the App Store)

Just tried it using Skype and Windows Live accounts.

Microsoft Kills Response Point IP-PBX

July 10, 2009

Sources informed me a few months ago that Microsoft's SMB IP-PBX called Response Point was in trouble. Then my Microsoft contacts Rex Backman and Richard Sprague, who were integral parts of the Response Point team were let go around May of this year which told me things were not looking good for the Response Point product. I really liked the Response Point product, though I did think it was a bit pricey when compared to other solutions. Still, it had a nice TCO since it was so easy to manage.

Sources have told me that Microsoft has indeed just killed the Response Point product.

iTunes Outage Problems

July 7, 2009

Apple iTunes is experiencing some severe outage problems today. I was trying to install Truphone and Skype on a coworker's iPhone when I noticed I couldn't search the App Store on his iPhone. Rich Tehrani also tried installing a gaming app I recommended called Blowfish, but it wouldn't accept his password.

My IT administrator then proceeded to try and register a new iTunes account within the iTunes PC software for this iPhone and that wouldn't work either. Perhaps the Michael Jackson resurgence phenomenon is overloading iTunes?

Worst Google News Headline Ever! - No public viewing at Neverland, but Michael Jackson may get laid

July 1, 2009

I was happily surfing the Web reading the Google News Top Stories when I saw a headline that said "No public viewing at Neverland, but Michael Jackson may get laid". Say what? I had to do a double-take. Then I couldn't help but laugh at how funny this headline was.

eBuddy for iPhone Supports Push Notifications

July 1, 2009

Ok, so the just launched Skype 1.1 for iPhone doesn't support push notifications, but eBuddy, a brand new app for the iPhone or iPod touch does support push notifications. What does this mean? It means you can close eBuddy and still receive instant messages (IMs) from your buddies. Further, eBuddy is an IM aggregator supporting MSN, Yahoo, AIM, ICQ, Gtalk, and Facebook.

Skype for iPhone 1.1 Update

July 1, 2009

Late last night I saw an update notifications on my iPhone 3GS for Skype. New version? Sweet! I updated it and checked out the release notes for Skype 1.1 for the iPhone and iPod touch.
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