Q&A: Why isn't OCS supported in the Messenger:Mac v8 beta?

I got this one via Twitter while I was travelling last week:

@nadyne I know it's a beta, but I was disappointed to see that it doesn't work w/ OCS yet. :-( That's all I use it for, so no beta for me.

The Messenger:Mac v8 beta, which came out last week, is focused on audio/video chats for personal usage. That's been our biggest feature request, it's something that we've been working on for quite some time, and we want to get it out there so that our users can take it through its paces.

For those of you in corporate environments using Office Communicator Server (OCS), you've already got audio/video chats. That was introduced in Messenger:Mac v7, so you've been able to video chat for nearly two years. Since your AV needs are already met, and since we want to make sure that AV for non-corporate usage gets a full workout, we're only supporting AV for personal users. It's not that OCS users are being left out of the beta, it's that OCS is ahead of the curve and you've been video chatting for ages already!

If you haven't yet, you can download the public beta of Messenger:Mac v8 from Mactopia. The release notes (PDF) has a list of the known issues.

Speaking of twitter, you can follow the @officeformac team, and you can also follow me here. If you're only interested in Office stuff, follow the former; my twitter feed is about whatever's going on for me, not limited to Office/MacBU.