Office Communications Server trial bits available.
I had a mail from the Unified communications team over the weekend. They were happy to announce that the Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 Trial Downloads (both Enterprise Edition and Standard Edition Servers) together with their associated client, the Office Communicator 2007 Trial download are now available. The OCS resource kit is still being worked on - I've proof-read some bits of it - but an early cut of the tools is also available. So is the Software Development Kit.
Initially these trials will be English only, the plan is to make Japanese, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Korean, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese and Brazilian Portuguese versions available on September 24th. Like all the best laid plans they are subject to change.
The idea of a trial is to help customers to evaluate the features, capabilities and scenarios delivered by these products in a lab environment. The evaluation code will expire after 180 days, if you were to use it production it is possible upgrade it with an appropriately licensed version of the product. We have public forums where customers can post questions and feedback.
I realize that voice / telephony integration is a big piece of the new product and not many organizations have a PBX in their labs. But the what's new guide runs to 15 pages which aren't all telephony or greater finesse in Communicator . New scenarios worth looking at include notably extranet connections, finer grain permissions, IMing distribution lists and On-premise conferencing; if you want to test the latter to full there is a download of the Web conference scheduler. To save yourself a lot of individual downloads, I'd recommend the documentation roll-up too.
By the way: if you're in the UK and you click through to the Office Communications server home page (http://www.microsoft.com/office/livecomm) from any of the links above you'll fetch up at a LCS 2005 page not an OCS 2007 one. The usual course of action in this case is either
- Curse Microsoft for being an American company which operations overseas, rather than an international company. Send for Michael Kleef (back-story here) or
- Edit the url to en-us instead of en-gb. I suspect this is true of other countries. ... or
- Thank me for providing the link to the US version for you