Archive for category Presence and Instant Messeging

Mobile Media, Cloud Computing and the Return of the Global Village

Ik heb vandaag de focus van deze blog aangepast naar “Mobile Media, Cloud Computing and the Return of the Global Village”

Op mijn blog GridThinking zal ik voornamelijk in het Engels schrijven over de ontwikkelingen en toepassingen van Grid en Cloud Computing en het Semantische Web. Op deze blog wil ik me voornamelijk gaan richten op Web Operating Systems, zoals het Microsoft Azure Service Platfom en SaaS applicatieplatformen zoals Microsoft Online, Live Workspace en


Hiernaast blijft mijn fascinatie bestaan voor ‘Mobile Media” en zal ik hier blijven rapporteren van mijn experimenten op dit vlak. De afgelopen 6 maanden heeft dit aandachtsgebied een grote vlucht genomen. Denk hierbij aan het eenvoudig publiceren van Microblogs (twitter), foto’s en filmpjes van je mobiel naar het internet. Verder begint ‘mobile social networking’ sterk in opkomst te komen , waarbij het principe van ‘Location aware software’ ervoor zorgt dat aanwezigheid (IM/Presence) wordt aangevuld met je (GPS/GSM) locatie.

Ik ben momenteel aan het experimenteren met een applicatie op mijn Nokia N81, waarbij ik via de applicatie Belysio eenvoudig status updates kan intypen, welke worden aangevuld met een positiebepaling via het GSM netwerk.  Deze statusupdates en globale positie (GSM positionering heeft een afwijking tussen de 400 en 800 meter) worden vervolgens doorgegeven naar onder andere Twitter, Windows Live, Gmail, FriendFeed, Facebook, Hyves, Plaxo, LinkedIn en mijn website

De reacties hierop zijn interessant. Mensen met weinig ervaring rond IM/Presence en (Micro) Blogging hebben vaak nog moeite met zien van de  mogelijkheden van deze manier van communicatie. Zoals bekent heeft ‘ieder voordeel ook zijn nadeel’, mijn focus ligt op het vinden van de grootste (productiviteits) voordelen. Mijn doel is om de komende tijd verder te experimenteren en op deze blog hier af en toe verslag van uit te brengen.. 


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Office Communicator Mobile on Windows Mobile 5


Controlling your desk phone, your mobile phone, your voicemail box, your Voice over IP (VOIP) line, digital video and Instant messaging from you mobile phone or PDA…
This can be done using the product Microsoft Office Communicator 2005 Mobile, that probably would be released somewhere at the end of 2005…

I predicted it would come, and a couple of weeks ago (when i was on Teched Amsterdam) it was officially announced. 

Check this post on  Microsoft presents new features of Windows Mobile 5.0

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Microsoft Presence Toolkit


Microsoft will bring out a Presence Toolkit for developers, so that all applications can benefit from Presence functionality. Developers can build solutions this way, so that users can hover over a name of a person (like in Sharepoint) and will be able to use all the Presence actions available in the Microsoft platform, like integration with Mail, IM, VOIP, Video actions in Outlook, MSN Messenger and  Office Communicator 2005.
Nice. 🙂

Read more a MicrosoftWatch


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Office Communicator 2005 video

A great video has been made bij the Microsoft Channel 9 team about Office Communicator 2005.


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‘Embedded realtime communication and presence’ War

In this article the author points out that the next Software war between Microsoft and IBM might be about ‘Embedded realtime communication and presence’. Well, I think the author is right!

In my vision there’s no doubt that realtime communication and presence are going to explode in the next years. Every knowledge worker will be able to control all his information and communication flows trough one interface, and i’m pretty sure that alerts and message routing will play a big role in this.

In this article the author writes about (Office) Excel Server 2006. Well, I think that this product will come next year, but I don’t think it will get a big role in communication or presence. I think this product will probably do two basic things. First, is to realise more functionality towards web based spreadsheets, like in Sharepoint Services but with more features like compley formulas. And Second, it will probably will work in combination with SQL Server 2005 to function as a better way to store spreadsheets. This way it will be possible to work on the same spreadsheet with multiple users and it will realises new and better opportunities to consolidate Excel spreadsheets.

So, I think the author is a bit wrong about the Excel Server. Ok, But then, what Microsoft products will play a role in this comming software war?

About (Office) Sharepoint Portal Server he’s absolutely right. The next version of Sharepoint Server, which probably will arive at the end of 2006 (or early 2007) will really be Microsoft’s central interface for communication. Microsoft will try to build the ultimate ‘connected system’, which will realise the power of software to enhance information exchange between people, processes, and IT. In today’s version of Sharepoint (Sharepoint 2003) Instant Messaging is already integrated. The next version (Sharepoint 2006?) will probably also include more advanced Messaging functions, like a integrated webbased messenger , a personal ‘alert management dashboard’, you personal ‘webservices monitoring tool’. Big change that products like Biztalk server 2006, Content management Server (2006?) and Commerce Server will be further integrated.  So you can see Sharepoint server as the webbased central interface to control and access all your information….  

And then.. 
SQL Server 2005, will play a big role in this. Today you have SQL Server 2000 Notification Services.  With this product you can build your own applications to send Alerts to a Windows messenger or by e-mail (triggerd by inserts or changes in the SQL database). This product has a complete SDK, but isn’t really simple and takes a lot of programming to get results. The next version of SQL Server 2005 has Notification services integrated, as you can read here.
I haven’t seen it yet but i’m sure it will be far more user friendly and more powerful. I can’t wait testing this app (i got a SQL Server 2005 beta2 running, but didn’t come to this part yet). Ok… also SQL Server will be part of this war…

Finally Office Live Communication Server 2005 and future updates (about his product i have written more items on this blog) will play a huge role in this all. It will be the server platform to connect old techniques like old phones (PBX) and mobile phones, to new technology like Voice over IP (VOIP) and Messaging.  Integration with the Microsoft Mail Server (Exchange) for Calendar integration and e-mail integration will also be important.

So, this are the Microsoft apps…  I don’t know so much about IBM, but i’m sure they will get a hard time competing with the Microsoft suite of server products…

Any IBM specialist out there who can write a article about there weapons? 


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MSN messenger 7 vs Office Communicator 2005

That last couple of weeks i have been using the beta of Office Communicator 2005. It’s a pretty good piece of software, what probably will change the way people communicate in business environments.

This are the things I like most:

  • Good quality one-to-one video conferencing
  • Good quality audio conferencing with multiple people
  • Integration with the exchange  address book. That’s because Office Communicator 2005 is linked with Microsoft Outlook scheduling information.
  • Office Communicator 2005 allows you to share programs with up to 31 other people on your computer during an IM conference.

More info on the program can be found here or watch the presentation of Communicator and Live Communication Server with Bill Gates here:

MSN Messenger 7
The new MSN Messenger 7 has the same Full Screen video option that Communicator 2005 has, this is great.
MSN Messenger has improved audio quality for voice conversation, but only supports one-to-one audio conversations, to bad.

But!! MSN Messenger has all this cool Winks and WeeMee’s!
Yesterday I found that a WeeMee can replace your static image couple to your Messenger account.

At the moment you can only buy these WeeMee’s. I got this animated rapper.. Real funny.
The nice this is that you can change  the way he moves.  Standard he is just hopping around. But you can let him laugh, cry, jump or get angry. Fun stuff!

The final thing I like about MSN Messenger 7 is that you can show what music you got playing on you media player (or i-tunes). I don’t know exactly why, but I really like this feature.
And….  Yes, the integration with MSN Spaces are improved, which really makes me happy.
Posting a new weblog item or photo is just 2 click aways… Great Work.

Sooo, Which one do I like most…?
I don’t this choosing is an option here.
You simply don’t what to use MSN Messenger 7 in an office environment..
I can picture the funny things that could happen..
Your boss seeing that you are playing funny (sex) clips with on you Media player during office times. And sending Winks to your secretary could be seen as a form of sexual harassment,  soon No option!

On the other hand. Giving access to you Outlook agenda true Communicator could be harmful to the relationship with some friends or family. Like when they find out you where not ‘studing all day’, but having a boat trip on the day of the birthday of a incredibly irritating family member… hmmmm

I think you get the message..

MSN Messenger is perfect for Social Communication and Communicator 2005 is good for business communication. But, there is actually one reason why you could prefer Communicator over MSN Messenger….. There is no in there advertising..


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using Office Communicator

I have been playing with Live Communication Server 2005 SP1 and the New Office Communicator for some days now… and there is some good news and some bad news..

You can’t do videoconferencing with multiple users, but you can do audio conferencing with multiple users.. so that’s a start..   Besides this, i really like the product. It still works intuitive and has all the options you need to realize your mobile team collaboration and Presence.

I can’t write to much about the products because most of the information is still under non-discloser during the beta program..  But since the release of the products will be within a month, I expect that features and information will be more widely spread in the coming weeks.

I can tell you one thing. The feature I most like is the option to do a videoconference with another user, and showing the video input in full screen. The means that the whole screen is filled with the video of the person on the other side, which gives it a far more realistic effect. When the other user has the webcam right in front of him, his head is almost ‘real size’, which makes the conversation far more personal..

I’m planning of making a video of this and putting it here (and publish on my podcast)

Soon more experiences …


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