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Microsoft OCS Improves Interoperability – XMPP Supported and AOL is Free

Microsoft OCS Improves Interoperability – XMPP Supported and AOL is Free

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Starting October 1, 2009,, a PIC License will no longer be required for federation with American Online (AOL).  Customers qualify for federation with AOL if they have Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Standard CAL or active Software Assurance on their current LCS/OCS license. 

Microsoft is  also releasing the Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 XMPP Gateway at no additional licensing cost that allows basic Presence sharing and instant messaging (IM) with XMPP (Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol) networks Jabber and Google Talk. For Office Communications Server customers, this means Jabber and GoogleTalk users can now be part of Office Communications Server IM contacts.

Additional Blogs to Learn More

 http://blogs.msdn.com/interoperability/archive/2009/10/01/instant-messaging-interoperability-extended-through-xmpp-and-new-partnerships.aspx

http://channel9.msdn.com/posts/jccim/Instant-Messaging-Interoperability-extended-through-XMPP-Jabber/

http://twitter.com/OpenAtMicrosoft/status/4528307986

Q&A

Q: What is being announced?

A: :  Microsoft is releasing the Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 XMPP Gateway at no additional licensing cost that allows basic Presence sharing and instant messaging (IM) with XMPP (Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol) networks Jabber and Google Talk.

Effective October 1, 2009, a PIC license will no longer be required to federate with AOL for customers with an Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Standard CAL or Office Communications Server 2007/Live Communications Server 2005 SP1 Standard CAL with Software Assurance. (PIC licenses will still be required for federation with Yahoo! Networks.)

Q: Is this announcement accompanied by a price change to the PIC license?

A: There is a price change related to the AOL Announcement.  The price of PIC will be reduced by 50% effective October 1, 2009, to reflect this change.

Q. What did Microsoft announce in June 2009 regarding PIC? 

A: In June 2009, we announced a similar change for Windows Live and renamed the OCS PIC license. 

1. The LCS PIC license was renamed to Office Communications Server Public IM Connectivity (OCS PIC in the price list). Customers who want Yahoo! federation will continue to purchase OCS PIC licenses.

2. A PIC License is no longer required for federation with Windows Live (effective July 1, 2009). Customers qualify for federation with Windows Live if they have Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Standard CAL or active SA on their current LCS/OCS license. 

3. There was no price change related to the Windows Live Announcement in June.  The price of PIC was updated in December 2008 to reflect this change. 

Q: What is the guidance for customers who want to buy licenses for federation with Yahoo!?

A: We advise a PIC License for federation with Yahoo! be sold as a 1 year subscription.  While strongly discouraged, if your customer is adamant for a 3-year subscription you will need to make them aware that Yahoo! will no longer support federation beyond June 30th, 2012.  We do not know the terms and availability of federation post this date.   Please refer to the following guidelines and consult with your Licensing Executive for appropriate discount to mitigate this issue. 

Q: Why does Yahoo still require a license?

A: The capability for our customers to federate with Yahoo! already exists and at this time requires a separate license.  Our customers have said that interoperability is a critical requirement, and as a result, we will continue to work across partners so that users can access a wide IM network using a single identity. In general, our partners have a shared commitment to making our products work better together, and we will continue to work with Yahoo! to provide the best connectivity experience for our mutual customers.

Q: How can my customer enable federation with AOL per this announcement?

A: The licensing changes to AOL will be effective October 1, 2009.  Customers will be able to provision for AOL at that time.  Refer to provisioning guide for details at that time.

Q: How can my customer enable Windows Live federation?

A: Please refer to the provisioning guide on the provisioning process for Windows Live.

Q: How can my customer enable Yahoo! federation?

A: A PIC license is required for federation with Yahoo network.  Provisioning requests can be submitted through the Microsoft Volume Licensing (MVLS) website upon purchase of PIC licenses.

Q.  What is the significance of the recent PIC changes? 

With these changes, customers qualify for IM/P federation with Windows Live and AOL with the Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Standard CAL or OCS 2007/LCS 2005 SP1 Standard CAL with Software Assurance.  We are enthused about growing the network of users for Office Communications Server and excited to see the added value to the Standard CAL!

Q: Where can customers go for more information around PIC?

A: For general information on Office Communications Server, visit the website at: www.microsoft.com/ocs.

For information on Office Communications Server Public IM Connectivity, visit: http://www.microsoft.com/communicationsserver/en/us/public-im-connectivity.aspx

Q: How can I learn more about PIC?

A: Use the following materials:

Licensing guidance: http://ArsenalContent/ContentDetail.aspx?ContentID=170269

Provisioning process: http://ArsenalContent/ContentDetail.aspx?ContentID=170875

Q: What are we announcing around XMPP interoperability?

A: Today we are announcing the General Availability of the Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 XMPP Gateway. This gateway supports interoperability between OCS 2007 or OCS 2007 R2 and the Jabber XMPP Server and the Google Talk XMPP-based public IM service.

Q: What functionality does the XMPP Gateway support?

A: The XMPP Gateway supports adding and removing users of Interdomain federated organizations using Jabber (recently acquired by Cisco) and Google, sharing basic presence and two-party instant messaging among those users.

The IT administrator has the flexibility to define which organizations it would like his/her organization to federate with.

Q: What XMPP interop has been tested and will be supported by Microsoft?

A: The XMPP Gateway has been tested against Jabber XCP Server version 5.4 and the current Google Talk implementation.

At times Google changes its Google Talk protocols with short or no notice and the interop can be affected by such changes.

Q: Does the XMPP Gateway support interop with older versions of IBM Lotus Sametime through XMPP?

A: The XMPP Gateway has NOT been tested to interop with IBM Sametime.

Q: How can organizations enable IBM Lotus Sametime interop with OCS?

A: To enable interoperability with IBM Lotus Sametime, IBM has released a Hotfix of the IBM Lotus Sametime Gateway 8.0.2 based on Microsoft’s SIP/SIMPLE-based Interdomain Federation Protocol. The Sametime Gateway 8.0.2 hot-fix one HF1 that supports OCS 2007 and OCS 2007 R2 is available at this link: http://www.ibm.com/eserver/support/fixes/fixcentral/swg/quickorder?brandid=2&productid=Lotus%20Sametime&fixes=ST-8.0.2.0-MultiOS-DLAR-7RYJSZ (IBM customers will need to sign-in to download). The required part numbers are “IBM Lotus Sametime Standard V8.0.2 Multiplatform English eAssembly (CR8PLEN)” and “IBM Lotus Sametime Gateway 8.0.2.1 Multilingual Multiplatform eAssembly (CR6H4ML)”.

Support for this Sametime Gateway is available from IBM. A list of known issues is published here: http://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?rs=477&context=SSKTXQ&dc=DB540&uid=swg21388997&loc=en_US&cs=UTF-8&lang=en&rss=ct477lotus

Q: How is the OCS 2007 R2 XMPP Gateway licensed?

A: The XMPP Gateway is licensed as “additional software” of Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2.
This means that customers will need to have a valid license of OCS 2007 R2 and will not need to pay additional licensing cost to deploy the Gateway.

Q: Where can a customer get support on the XMPP Gateway?

A: The XMPP Gateway is an official release of Microsoft and is part of the Office Communications Server 2007 R2 release. Support can be obtained via the regular Microsoft support channels. Detailed additional information on configuring the XMPP Gateway with the Google Talk Service and the Jabber XCP 5.4 server will be posted on TechNet in the coming weeks.
Support incidents can be filed in the Unified Communications queue of Microsoft Support.

Q: Where can the customers get the XMPP Gateway and its documentation?

A: The XMPP Gateway can be downloaded from Microsoft.com/downloads at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=141529

Comments
  • Excellent information. Currently, MS XMPP Gw only supports GoogleTalk and Cisco's XCF. Does this mean it won't work with any other XMPP servers or just that MS hasn't tested it and doesn't want to handle support for them?

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