If you have not had the opportunity to play with Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 you should. So Appear Offline, go ahead admit it, you used it, heck you even enjoyed using it, but hey where did it go? Check your communicator.adm (group policy template).
Now why did you ladies and gentlemen take that away?
First, the feature was not removed it was simply disabled by default policy and can be enabled if the company so chooses.
Secondly, the product team believes it is the right thing to disable this feature for the following reasons:
- It reduces the value of presence if everyone is lurking/hiding as “Appear Offline” (e.g. imagine if everyone in the company did it). Within working hours there is no reason to use “Appear Offline” as opposed to DnD
- Once you go beyond OC as an IM client and think about OC as a phone it doesn’t make much sense to use “Appear Offline” as that will cause all phone calls and such to go to voicemail. It is also not a very good way to hide anymore given than everyone is expected to have a phone and so you won’t see very many people as offline anymore (i.e. there is no reason to see someone as offline as their phone should always be connected so at worst they should be away)