Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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Microsoft OCS 2007 Review

October 16, 2007

Today is the big launch of Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 (OCS 2007), the core of the Microsoft Unified Communications Strategy. OCS 2007 is a unified communications server that delivers enterprise instant messaging, audio, video- and web-conferencing, and enhanced voice over IP. Today, Bill Gates and Jeff Raikes will announce the worldwide Unified Communications Launch 2007 in San Francisco, with smaller launch parties taking place across the country. I've been testing OCS 2007 beta for a few months now and also the OCS 2007 RTM (release to market) version more recently.

Exchange Server 2007 SP1 launches

August 14, 2007

Microsoft today launched Exchange Server 2007 SP1 (beta 2) to those who are part of Microsoft's Developer Network or subscribe to the Microsoft's TechNet. According to Microsoft Service Pack 1 (SP1) is a community technology preview or CTP, ans is now feature complete with a final ship date of the last quarter this year. The latest release more closely ties Exchange Server closer to Microsoft's unified communications products, namely Office Communications Server 2007 (OCS 2007). OCS 2007 adds VoIP, voicemail, text-to-speech reading of email and more and is also scheduled for release sometime this year. I've actually been testing OCS 2007 beta with Exchange 2007 and OCS 2007 is probably the best product I've seen from Microsoft in years.

In any event, Exchange 2007 SP1 will support Windows Server 2008 and a single subnet is no longer required for HA (high availability).

Best Internet Telephony Magazine Yet - Plus ITEXPO Thoughts

August 8, 2007

I just received my latest issue of TMC's Internet Telephony Magazine, which is hot off the presses. Check out the cover. (excuse the image quality, I used a webcam)

On the cover you'll notice a wide array of stories including: Microsoft's big communications plans - namely Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 (OCS 2007), fixed mobile convergence (FMC), power protection & management, fax over IP, and a comprehensive TMC Labs review of the Cantata IMG 1010 VoIP gateway. (Note: The Microsoft story is in the top-right corner, but not readable in the image)

This comprehensive coverage of all IP communications is why TMC's internet Telephony Magazine is still the #1 VoIP magazine!

Ooma Free Phone Calls

July 19, 2007

Ooma, a new VoIP provider, hopes to bring voice calling everywhere closer to "free". In fact, Ooma offers 100% free domestic U.S. calling using your standard analog/cordless phone to any domestic destination. (They charge for international) I'm sure Vonage, Packet8, and other broadband VoIP players aren't too thrilled with this.

With Ooma you shell out mad money - $399 - which gets you a sleek Ooma Hub with lifetime free local and long distance service.

DigitalLife Is the Life

July 13, 2007

Truphone 3.0 Released

June 29, 2007

Truphone, which I recently awarded a TMC Labs Innovation Award, has just released Truphone 3.0. The latest release adds a suite of advanced features to its beta VoIP service for mobile phones, and simultaneously extended until the end of 2007 its offer of free calls to 40 countries. The new SMS over IP capability brings unlimited free SMS messages between on-net Truphone users and a flat-rate tariff of GBP0.07/USD0.15 to all other regular mobile numbers worldwide.

James Tagg, Truphone's CEO, said:

We were the first company to demonstrate SMS-over-IP in our preview version at the beginning of June and we've been delighted at the feedback we've received. People love free and low-cost text messages.

Skype 3.5 adds Call Transfer

June 15, 2007

I missed this bit of Skype news from a couple days ago that announced Skype had added Call Transfer functionality, which allows you to transfer a call to another Skype user OR to a PSTN number. At first glance, many of you may be thinking, "so what?"  Well, it is big news and I should have blogged about this earlier, but I was busy playing with Microsoft RoundTable, a 360-degree videoconferencing system. (Stay tuned for a full-fledged review on that.)

The big deal about call transfer is that now businesses can use Skype as a practical business phone solution. Operating your business's voice communications without call transfer, is like tying the proverbially hand behind your back.

Dialogic supports Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007

May 22, 2007

Dialogic Corporation announced today that it has expanded its support for Microsoft unified communications solutions. The Dialogic Media Gateways will enable unified messaging in Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, I've got a testbed with Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 and Exchange 2007 installed (which I still have to write the review on), so perhaps I'll get my hands on this new Dialogic hardware to some more interesting tests with. It's been quite some time since I last tested Dialogic hardware. My first review of Dialogic hardware was way back in 1996 in CTI Magazine.

In any event, Dialogic has expanded its gateway product lines and capabilities to support Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007.

Banzai Falls Twin Blast Rapids Waterslide

May 15, 2007

Remember the original Slip 'n Slide, a yellow & blue piece of plastic, that when wet becomes very slippery, enabling you to dive head first onto the plastic so you can slide the length of the sheet until you reached the grass in less than 1.5 seconds? It was a very short-lived thrill ride. Funny how in the commercials they make it seem like the slide lasts like 10 seconds. Can't recall if they used slo-motion or if they took several clips and spliced them together to make it appear like a longer ride.

Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 Optimized IP Devices

May 14, 2007

Today, Microsoft is announcing several products that are optimized to work with Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007. As part of today's announcement, Microsoft has launched a unified communications qualification program – including 15 phones and devices which are on the path to qualification with Office Communications Server 2007 and Office Communicator (now in public beta). These include Internet protocol (IP) phones, Universal Serial Bus (USB) phones, conferencing phones, wired and wireless headsets, Webcams, monitors, PCs and PC peripherals.

Several of these products were already out in the marketplace, but some are brand new, so let's focus on the "new" phone devices. First, the Polycom CX700 IP Phone is the mystery phone that I discussed previously.

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