Working at Microsoft, I rarely find myself running a machine with RTM software on it, but with the RTM of Exchange 2007, Windows Vista and Office 2007, I have found myself running fully released code.
I am glad to say I have now managed to fix this 'problem' and got myself onto the Office Communications Server 2007 and Communicator 2007 beta at Microsoft a few weeks back. Its strangely pleasing to be running beta software again and with the recent announcement of OCS 2007 going beta it means that I should be able to start talking more about my personal experience of this software so far without giving away too much 🙂
First of all, I have noticed an increase number of emails I tend to escalate from Outlook to Communicator. This has been possible in previous versions but we have made it a lot more easier and a lot more prominent, this really proves that its not just about making the technology available but its also about making it easy to use.
The second thing that I think I will find useful but don't at the minute (because not enough people are running it), is the 'IM with a subject'. This is, as my mate David Hinson would say, a 'slice of fried gold'. Basically, when someone responds to an email via IM or phone, it will put the subject of that email in the pop up. This means that when I get an IM from Darren Strange I know if its going to be something work related or something well .... not so work related :-). I have been known to screen my email via interestingness of subject and I can now do the same with phone calls and emails :-).
Last of all, Communicator 2007 solves a problem a number of the people I have spoken to in the past experience. One of the things about IM is that even when you set yourself to Busy or Do Not Disturb, there is always going to be someone who will IM you, its just a fact of life. Personally, I have the ability to ignore the flashing IM in the corner but I know that others are not so strong willed and feel they need to read the message. Since installing Communicator 2007, any IMs that get sent to me while I am in 'Do Not Disturb' go directly to my Outlook inbox as a conversation rather than appearing on my taskbar. As an addition, I have all of my conversations logged and deposited in my inbox which means if its in an email or IM then its possible for me to search for it from Outlook. Once we have voicemails and faxes configured for the UK I will truly have only 'one inbox'
One small step for Mark, one giant leap for the way I communicate!