Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
CTO
| VoIP & Gadgets blog - Latest news in VoIP & gadgets, wireless, mobile phones, reviews, & opinions

Microsoft

Microsoft

Alteva's Hosted OCS 2007, Exchange & Sharepoint Offers Comprehensive Hosted UC

April 23, 2010

Alteva, a unified communications hosted solution provider recently announced a partnership with Microsoftand Broadsoft to provide a true hosted Unified Communications (UC) solution to small businesses. Alteva has connected their hosted voice and messaging services with Microsoft Communication Services product suite, including Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint and Office Communications Server (OCS). Alteva is essentially offering a hosted unified communications platform that offers hosted Exchange, hosted Sharepoint, and hosted OCS ("The Big 3" Microsoft communications apps) - all from a single service provider. (not to mention hosted VoIP) Obviously, this greatly reduces the complexity of integrating the various popular Microsoft applications in-house, performing maintenance (TCO), and the upfront capital expenditure for purchasing Microsoft licenses.

Alteva claims to be the first one to to offer all three in a single hosted solution when they stated, "Alteva has been selected as one of the only hosted voice service providers to offer the complete suite of Microsoft Communication Services, with integrated voice services.

FaceTime Vantage - The Ultimate Unified Communications Compliance Tool

March 29, 2010


As I have mentioned in the past, controlling and monitoring Skype usage in the enterprise is very difficult. It is Skype's ability to work on any network, regardless of the types of NAT, proxy, firewall, or intrusion prevention systems that have helped make Skype such a popular application. It is this same set of characteristics that has made Skype the bane of many corporate network managers that wish to control what applications run on their network.

FaceTime Communications (www.facetime.com) today announced the release of Vantage, a software solution for the security, management and compliance of real time and unified communications, including Skype. Vantage is the successor to FaceTime's IMAuditor, (note the name change) and it expands the support for UC platforms such as Microsoft Office Communications Server (OCS) and IBM Lotus Sametime and for the first time provides stringent security and compliance controls for Skype in the enterprise.

Most notable among the features integral to Vantage are extensive support for OCS Group Chat, compliance archiving and ethical wall creation for Microsoft Live Meeting and support for Call Admission Control (CAC) to manage resource allocation.  Support is also provided for logging IBM Lotus Sametime announcements, file transfer capture, scanning and controls and a host of compliance features including ethical walls, inline disclaimers and data leak prevention. 

In addition to controlling who can use Skype, the software also records the Skype instant messages, controls whether file transfers are allowed, and can control when VoIP or video can be used.






Windows Phone 7 Series - No Copy / Paste? WHAT???

March 17, 2010

Remember how Apple blew a lot of good will with their iPhone fans when Apple didn't include copy & paste and arrogantly claimed it wasn't needed? Other than background app support (still not available unless you jailbreak), copy/paste was the #1 complaint for the iPhone. Apple finally relented, added copy/paste and iPhone users around the world rejoiced!

Surely, Microsoft would not make the same mistake with their new forthcoming Windows Phone 7 Series mobile phones, right?

Well, would you believe Windows Phone 7 Series won't have copy/paste functionality? Are you freaking kidding me?



Cool New Microsoft 720p LifeCams with TrueColor Technology

March 16, 2010

Microsoft today announced TrueColor Technology which they claim enhances the color and brightness of webcam video in the worst of lighting conditions. True Color Technology is a new image processing technology that automatically adjusts the picture quality to provide more colorful video. It does this through a proprietary combination of software and firmware technology. TrueColor Technology actually leverages face tracking technology developed by Microsoft Research, which can detect a person's face and help ensure it's not overexposed or underexposed, so the video call picture looks great even in the most challenging lighting scenarios.

AudioCodes SPS Brings Microsoft OCS Features to Legacy SIP Phones

March 16, 2010


Some very interesting news from AudioCodes with the launch of AudioCodes' SIP Phone Support (SPS) for Microsoft Microsoft Office Communications Server (OCS). AudioCodes is well known for their VoIP gateway products - well think of SPS as a gateway between SIP IP phones and Microsoft OCS. Essentially, AudioCodes' SPS enables connectivity to Microsoft Office Communications Server using standard SIP IP phones, which then adds OCS's powerful UC functionality, including presence into your existing IP phone infrastructure.

You get even more powerful features if you use AudioCodes phones, including support for Microsoft's wideband RTA codec. SPS enables the connection of the AudioCodes 300HD IP Phone Series with Microsoft Office Communications Server, while providing Office Communications Server features, such as enhanced presence, active directory, and support for Real Time Audio (RTA) - Microsoft's high-definition, wideband coder.


IceWarp Unified Communications Server 10 Review

March 16, 2010

I tested and reviewed IceWarp Unified Communications Server for TMC's Unified Communications Magazine, which will be published very soon. I was very impressed with the product and thought I'd share my test results here. Check it out...

IceWarp Unified Communications Server 10
www.icewarp.com

Pricing: 10 users=$549.54; 50 users=$2041.25; 100 users = $3821.04
30-day fully-functional trial available




Ratings Score Installation Documentation Features Usability Performance Value Overall
The buzzword "unified communications" gets thrown around pretty easily these days. Companies with solutions that cover just two or three model methods of communications often consider their products as part of the "unified communications" spectrum.









What's Wrong with Windows Phone 7?

February 15, 2010

So everyone is gushing over how sexy the new Windows Phone 7 Series is. Microsoft has done a "reboot" of their mobile operating system and gone to an entirely new operating system. Sorry Windows Mobile fans, your old apps won't work on this new phone.

Engadget
: "Forget everything you know about Windows Mobile. Seriously, throw the whole OS concept in a garbage bin or incinerator or something.

Watch a Microsoft Operating Systems Video Timeline

November 19, 2009


Microsoft's operating system have evolved quite a bit since the 1980s when they launched their first operating system. Ah, who doesn't miss Microsoft DOS? Gimme my DOS command shell, .bat files, QEMM expanded memory manager, Stacker disk compression (a requirement due to small hard drives back then), and all the other MS-DOS goodies any day of the week and I'm a happy man. Ohh the nostalgia!

Run Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Virtualized

November 13, 2009

According to Microsoft, Office Communications Server 2007 R2 can now be deployed onto Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V, or onto any virtualization solution that is a certified partner through the Server Virtualization Validation Program (SVVP) certified partners. Running OCS 2007 R2 "virtualized" is a hot topic, so knowing exactly how and which components can be virtualized is crucial so you're not banging your head against the wall wondering why it isn't working.

Well, the good news is that it supports the following workloads virtualized:
  • Presence
  • IM (including conferencing, remote access, federation, and Public IM Connectivity)
  • Group Chat
Today, Microsoft released a whitepaper which identifies which server roles are supported in a virtualized environment and it provides guidance for scaling users and workloads in a virtualized environment. Best to let Microsoft spend the time  testing and determining the results rather than you doing all the effort.

Dell Inspiron Zino HD - Coolest HTPC Ever

November 13, 2009


Dell just launched the Inspiron Zino HD, a small 8" by 8" x 3.5" cubed-shaped trendy-looking HTPC that aims to sit in your living room and become your centralized home media center. Comparisons of the trendy-looking Zino HD vs. the Mac Mini will undoubtedly be made. Colors for the Zino HD include Piano Black, True Blue, Formula Red, Plum Purple, Spring Green, Promise Pink, Tangerine Orange, Green Scatter, Red Swirls, and Blue Lines.
Featured Events