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Tom Keating
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August 2009

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Win this nice Jeep at ITEXPO

August 31, 2009

Arrived at ITEXPO

August 31, 2009

Vonage's Killer iPhone app

August 31, 2009

Last week I spoke with Vonage's Michael Tempora, Senior VP Product & Program Management about the launch of Vonage World and Visual Voicemail. The big news was "Vonage World" with unlimited calling across the world to over 60 countries, which covers 2/3 of the world's population (4.5 billion) - all for $24.99/month.

As an aside I also asked him if Vonage was working on an iPhone app. He said it was in the works but couldn't comment further. I was going to blog about it back on the 19th, but got busy preparing for ITEXPO.

Vonage Launches Vonage World and Visual Voicemail

August 19, 2009

Vonage today has announced some significant value add to their core $24.99/month unlimited plan. Vonage's Michael Tempora, Senior VP Product & Program Management told me they are announcing two new services. First, they are announcing "Vonage World" with unlimited calling across the world to over 60 countries, which covers 2/3 of the world's population (4.5 billion). The existing $24.99 plan included U.S., Canada, and five European countries.

To Appear Offline or Not to Appear Offline, that is the Presence Question

August 19, 2009

Presence is a valuable tool used in a variety of consumer and business applications, including Microsoft OCS 2007, Skype, AOL's AIM, Windows Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, and more. Businesses which used to ban IM applications (block it on the firewall, Group Policy, etc.) are starting to see the productivity value in IM and have implemented IM solutions in the enterprise. With the convergence of voice, video, and chat in applications such as Microsoft's Office Communicator, rich presence functionality enables your fellow co-workers to know if you are on the phone, in Do Not Disturb mode, away, working at home, on vacation, etc.

Knowing your co-workers presence certainly improves how, when and if you interact with them.


August 18, 2009

TomTom for iPhone is here!

August 17, 2009

TomTom for the iPhone is finally here! The $99 app can be purchased on the Apple App store as of today.

TomTom for the iPhone comes with turn-by-turn voice guided directions and full maps of the U.S. and Canada. Maps for Europe, Australia, and New Zealand are available separately to buy.

The TomTom app uses their IQ Routes technology, a sort of peer-to-peer (P2P) GPS routing functionality I predicted one day would happen .

Asterisk Training Courses at ITEXPO

August 17, 2009

Can you believe ITEXPO is just two weeks away? It's also almost September. Where did the Summer go?

ITEXPO, the #1 VoIP conference in the U.S., has several educational tracks you might be interested in checking out.

Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Web Scheduler

August 15, 2009

Are you running 64-bit Windows and can't get the OCS 2007 R2 Outlook add-in to work? Bummed you can't use the add-in to schedule meetings? As a workaround, those running Office 2010 (64-bit version) on a 64-bit machine have to manually paste the OCS conferencing number and ID into their Calendar, which is a bit tedious. You also miss out on the nice calendar presence information.

Well, Microsoft is still working on the 64-bit version of the Outlook add-in, which will be available when Office 2010 RTMs, however they just released 'Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Web Scheduler', which you can use to schedule meetings in the meantime until they release the 64-bit Outlook add-in.

Microsoft Releases Two New UC OCS 2007 Training Tools

August 13, 2009

Microsoft released a new UC How To training application leveraging Microsoft Silverlightâ„¢ 2 to help users and administrators learn how to use Office Communications Server 2007 R2. The Microsoft Unified Communications "How-To" training tool provides step-by-step instructions for common UC tasks, such as find and add contacts, create groups in contact list, initiate a voice or video call, create a chat room, search chat history, and much more. It also goes into "etiquette" in instant messaging and etiquette in managing your presence status. I really liked this aspect of this training tool, since it is often difficult for IT/MIS folks to document etiquette procedures and get users to actually listen.

Judge orders Microsoft to stop Selling Microsoft Word + pay $290 million

August 12, 2009

A judge has ordered Microsoft to stop selling Microsoft Word over a patent dispute with i4i, a Canadian-based company and to pay more than $290 million in damages.

Judge Leonard Davis, of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, ordered a permanent injunction that "prohibits Microsoft from selling or importing to the United States any Microsoft Word products that have the capability of opening .XML, .DOCX (Word 2007) or DOCM files (XML files) containing custom XML."

I didn't realize something as 'basic' as opening XML files, an open industry standard could be patented. I smell a patent troll. Apparently from what I read, the East District of Texas is notoriously friendly to patent holders even if the patent is frivolous.

Well, Microsoft could simply change the next version (Office 2010) to NOT open those file types.

SIP Print VoIP Appliance Review

August 12, 2009

Call recording on VoIP phone systems is critical because it can ensure good customer service, provide employee training, and offer liability protection. SIP Print offers a SIP-compliant VoIP recording appliance at a price point that is much lower than legacy analog or digital E1/T1 recording systems. Part of the reason is you don't have to pay for expensive Dialogic or NMS telephony hardware to interface with analog or digital trunks. Instead, SIP Print's appliances sit on the network and simply record the SIP VoIP traffic.

Office Communications Server Team Blog's Top 118 UC & OCS Blogs

August 12, 2009

FREETALK Everyman Skype Headset Review

August 6, 2009

The FREETALK Everyman is a foldable super wideband audio "Skype certified" USB headset designed by Skype themselves. Why this isn't called the Skype Everyman headset is beyond me. I guess perhaps why want to market this headset as doing much more than Skype calls. They sent me one for review today so I thought I'd write up my impressions.

When I opened it out of the box I noticed the large speakers and the flexible rotation for additional comfort when wearing it.

Google Gods are Killing Me - PageRank 6 drops to PageRank 3

August 5, 2009

The Google Gods are really starting to piss tick me off. For years the VoIP & Gadgets blog has had a PageRank of 6 (PR6) and sometimes as high as PR7. As of July of last year the PageRank dropped to PR3 and then went back up to PR4 for quite some time. This week it's back at PR3.

Microsoft OCS 2007 R2 Group Chat Hotfix KB 969819 + Group Chat Software Development Kit (SDK)

August 3, 2009

Microsoft just released another hotfix KB update for Microsoft OCS 2007 R2. Called KB 969819, this addresses some issues with OCS 2007 R2 Group Chat that are described in the Knowledge Base articles 969819, 969818, and 969817.

KB 969819 package fixes the following issues:
  • 972951  ( ) A compliance server reports incomplete or inaccurate information about user JOIN and PART events in Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Group Chat Server
  • 972944  ( ) You may experience performance issues in a channel server in Communications Server 2007 R2 Group Chat Channel Server
  • 973384  ( ) The Group Chat service does not work after you restart a computer that is running Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Group Chat Server
  • 973385  ( ) Users in a secured organizational unit (OU) named "Blocking Inheritance" cannot use the Group Chat Admin Tool
  • 973386  ( ) A compliance XML output file is not generated by a compliance server in Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Group Chat Server
KB 969818 package fixes the following issues:
  • 973321  ( ) Office Communications Server 2007 R2, Group Chat Client prevents Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 from logging off
  • 973337  ( ) A peer-to-peer file transfer fails between two Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Group Chat clients
  • 972945  ( ) The Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Group Chat Client does not support user colors
  • 973316  ( ) Error message when you try to make a connection in an Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Group Chat client for the first time: "The domain_name domain is not available"
  • 972947  ( ) An update is available for Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Group Chat clients to improve the performance for chat rooms
  • 973318  ( ) The message in the input panel does not match the message that you sent in Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Group Chat Client
KB 969817 doesn't appear to be on Microsoft's site, but I'm sure it fixes something.

Lastly, they also just added a new SDK download for Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Group Chat Software Development Kit (SDK). It includes documentation and sample applications developed with the Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Group Chat platform.

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