Lync to become Skype (for Business)

BREAKING NEWS ….

In some instances progression is really regression, or maybe it’s just a case of rebranding a fully functional client with a name that the younger generation know & understand.

Watch this space, because on Wednesday 18th March 2015 Microsoft Lync (nee Office Communications Server, Live Communications Server) will change its name to Skype for Business.

For those of you who know me well, will understand where I’m coming from here.

The rebranding of Lync (formerly Real Time Communications-Alfa, Live Communications Server & Office Communications Server) is the passing of a brilliant system and the witnessing of the dumbing down of corporate communications to a something that is know to the younger generations who want external contact; this also makes it easier for third-party suppliers.

Maybe it’s a way of evolving a evolving a “nice to have” social media client that many of the younger generation associate with social IM, P2P video & an incorporated telephony client into the corporate world. But IMHO Skype will fail to deliver that which has been delivered by Lync (and its previous incarnations) just because it’s being dumbed down.

I do not use Facebook, but this video, by Zig Serafin (Corporate Vice President Skype Business Services) was published on Facebook on the 12th March. Announcing that Skype for Business would be launched on Wednesday March 12th. (https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152821623341884&set=vb.123768126883&type=2&theater).

I have difficulty accepting that SfB (Skype for Business) will be able to provide everything that Lync has grown to offer since LCS was first rolled-out in 2005/06.

RTC-A & LCS grew out of the requirement for the protection of corporate messaging.

In the days before RTC-A, corporate messaging for chaotic. The client that was installed depended upon the consensus of team members, and interactions with other teams; the team as a core may well have had MSN, Yahoo, ICQ ect installed. Then those who interacted with other teams may well have had another IM client installed. This meant that in all reality there was no standard corporate IM, & you could not hope to stop team members passing corporate documents to a personal address or IM client.

RTC-A introduced a static client that could be installed throughout the corporate environment, with the advantage being that IM was limited to within the corporate network.

When the lessons from RTC-A had been learnt & the software developed into LCS; there were many advances. But the biggest advance was when we developed Public IM Gateways – a portal through the firewalls allowing IM with customers & suppliers.

If you have Lync installed within your corporate environment today, you have a very stable and versatile corporate messaging client that has a greater function than just purely the provision of IM.

Sadly whilst Skype offers the functionality of  telephony, it follows the same principle of Live Call – remember the ability to call from MSN ? – in that your breakout point is your in-country telephone provider .. if you call a US based telephone from a UK based Skype\Microsoft account then you initiate the call from the UK. Whereas if you were using Lync & had an office in the US – also running Lync -then the call would be routed from the UK to the US via the corporate network & breakout using the US telephony system; which effectively meant that you had an in-country call rather than an international call.  In all reality this is called virtual networking (VNet, or VNetting – the ability to route your telephony requirements through the corporate network, rather than breaking out to public telephony network & then re-entry to the corporate infrastructure).

Personally I’m waiting to find out what will be offered, and whether it will be an advantage to that which is already offered, but Microsoft is claiming that SfB will provide many new features which will include:

  • A familiar interface, which uses “The familiar Skype icons for calling, adding video & ending a call” – WOW! an advancement for the mere stupid
  • Skype call monitor, which will keep the active call visible in a small window even when the user changes focus to another application. – WOW! this already works with Lync
  • Better Skype integration. In addition to instant messaging and audio calling with Skype, Skype for Business adds video calling and the Skype user directory, so you can call any Skype user on any device. – This already works with Lync .. my desktop, laptop, tablet, & phone (Windows, Droid & fruit based .. my better looking other half uses Lync on her Droid & me on my Win Lumia, with FULL audio visual & desktop sharing)
  • More efficient design. Common tasks can be completed with fewer steps. For example, transferring a call now takes only one touch or click instead of three. – Advancement

SfB will be an automatic rollout Office 365 for business customers in the weeks and months ahead. Those with on-premises Lync servers will need to upgrade to Skype for Business manually.

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What a self centred egotistical arogant manual ejaculate !

Yes I say this openly .. afterall it’s written on the W3 so it will never be hidden, and I say it openly & honestly; for this manual ejaculate could never find his bloated posterior using a GPS handset, having received a complementary two day tutorial or having to ‘oogle the use of wetwipes. In fact I believe that if you could measure his egotistical IQ then he would also be confirmed as being pregnant. In fact an amoeba has a greater brain quality than this …..

Maybe this is one of those days that confirms “on certain days democracy sucks”, just because idiots like this have a say .. Okay, rant over, but this IDIOT should have his publishing rights removed & his editor called into question.

This is the article in question & the pompous manual ejaculate even include a picture of himself, just so you know he means business .. maybe he should have posed as a 1930’s personal detective

http://www.infoworld.com/article/2690889/microsoft-windows/windows-10-youre-welcome-microsoft.html

What more can I say ?

Can’t Activate Windows 10 TechP (Error Code 0x800732B)

Here’s an interesting one for you ..

Having recently rebuilt one of my test boxes I found that I could not activate Win10 TechP Build 9926, and received the error code 0x800732B.

The build is supposed to be pre-activated, so this error caused a raised eyebrow, especially as I do not have a KMS installed in my test infrastructure. – I’ve spent enough hours viewing this error code when I initiated a KMS whilst testing Vista & deploying early builds of Win7 in a corporate environment.

Casting my memory back & browsing through my previous build notes, I stumbled across the answer ..

You can use the key.vbs script (Below) to obtain your Windows key, but this will not allow activation …

Press +R (Run)

Type “SLUI 3” – without the quotes & remember to include the space!

This will launch the interface (below)

Enter the license key .. PBHCJ-Q2NYD-2PX34-T2TD6-233PK .. This key is provided for recovery scenarios and cannot be used for normal activation .. which will activate against the Microsoft KMS

You should now be up and running

Copy the script below into Notepad – other text editors are available – & save it as “WinKey.vbs”

Apologies, I am the world’s worst script kiddie – there are plenty of people who will attest to this because they’ve spent hours debugging my buggy attempts at code. The code below was copied from the web. I’ve had it for a while so sadly I cannot say who wrote the code, or remember the website that I copied it from; so if you are the original author I apologise for not being able to give you the credit that you deserve …

Option Explicit

Dim objshell,path,DigitalID, Result

Set objshell = CreateObject(“WScript.Shell”)

‘Set registry key path

Path = “HKLMSOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersion”

‘Registry key value

DigitalID = objshell.RegRead(Path & “DigitalProductId”)

Dim ProductName,ProductID,ProductKey,ProductData

‘Get ProductName, ProductID, ProductKey

ProductName = “Product Name: ” & objshell.RegRead(Path & “ProductName”)

ProductID = “Product ID: ” & objshell.RegRead(Path & “ProductID”)

ProductKey = “Installed Key: ” & ConvertToKey(DigitalID)

ProductData = ProductName & vbNewLine & ProductID & vbNewLine & ProductKey

‘Show messbox if save to a file

If vbYes = MsgBox(ProductData & vblf & vblf & “Save to a file?”, vbYesNo + vbQuestion, “BackUp Windows Key Information”) then

Save ProductData

End If

‘Convert binary to chars

Function ConvertToKey(Key)

Const KeyOffset = 52

Dim isWin8, Maps, i, j, Current, KeyOutput, Last, keypart1, insert

‘Check if OS is Windows 8

isWin8 = (Key(66) 6) And 1

Key(66) = (Key(66) And &HF7) Or ((isWin8 And 2) * 4)

i = 24

Maps = “BCDFGHJKMPQRTVWXY2346789”

Do

Current= 0

j = 14

Do

Current = Current* 256

Current = Key(j + KeyOffset) + Current

Key(j + KeyOffset) = (Current 24)

Current=Current Mod 24

j = j -1

Loop While j >= 0

i = i -1

KeyOutput = Mid(Maps,Current+ 1, 1) & KeyOutput

Last = Current

Loop While i >= 0

keypart1 = Mid(KeyOutput, 2, Last)

insert = “N”

KeyOutput = Replace(KeyOutput, keypart1, keypart1 & insert, 2, 1, 0)

If Last = 0 Then KeyOutput = insert & KeyOutput

ConvertToKey = Mid(KeyOutput, 1, 5) & “-” & Mid(KeyOutput, 6, 5) & “-” & Mid(KeyOutput, 11, 5) & “-” & Mid(KeyOutput, 16, 5) & “-” & Mid(KeyOutput, 21, 5)

End Function

‘Save data to a file

Function Save(Data)

Dim fso, fName, txt,objshell,UserName

Set objshell = CreateObject(“wscript.shell”)

‘Get current user name

UserName = objshell.ExpandEnvironmentStrings(“%UserName%”)

‘Create a text file on desktop

fName = “C:Users” & UserName & “DesktopWindowsKeyInfo.txt”

Set fso = CreateObject(“Scripting.FileSystemObject”)

Set txt = fso.CreateTextFile(fName)

txt.Writeline Data

txt.Close

End Function

Skype 7.x & Lync Crashing on launch – Windows 10 TechP

A quick one …

If you are running Windows 10 TechP & find that Skype, & or Lync, Desktop version is crashing on launch, I suggest regressing your video driver.

I experienced this issue shortly after applying Kb3021952, and have since applied the updates individually without finding the issue. Then I regressed the AMD drivers on the Test_Box (HP 8460p, 12Gb RAM & 320Gb hard drive) and was able to launch both Skype & Lync with problems experienced.

Remember that whilst Windows 10 is in Technical Preview the computer will install updates from a Microsoft WSUS infrastructure to ensure that all systems have the relevant updates applied. The WSUServers are possibly located within the Microsoft Datacentres, but updated from Redmond, allowing for easy transfer.

By default “ooB” Win10TechP will automatically download both Windows updates & recommended updates – Drivers !!

You can change this by, clicking on the start button (bottom left – or wherever you’ve placed it), & select “Settings” (was PC Settings)

Select “Update & Recovery”

Ensure that the tick against Recommended Updates has been removed.

This will stop the updates to drivers.

If you want to reintroduce the “Old” Windows Update back onto the Control Panel, please save the following into Notepad – other text editors are available 😛 – & save it as “whatever_you_want” with the “.reg” extension.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsUpdateUX]
“IsConvergedUpdateStackEnabled”=dword:00000000

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsUpdateUXSettings]
“UxOption”=dword:00000000

You may also want to ensure that Automatic Updates are configured, or not configured, as you want

· ÿ+R(Run)

· gpedit.msc

· Computer Configuration

· Administrative Templates

· Windows Components

· Windows Update

· Configure Automatic Updates

· Not Configured

Win10 Release – the logic

Having posted my thoughts upon when Windows 10 will be released, & having re-read the post I thought that I had better say something about the logic that has caused me to say when I believe Windows 10 will be released …

Microsoft have already released their roadmap stating in which quarter they will release their software builds. Now the Microsoft year runs from 1st July through to 30th June, and they name the software in the year that it will be released. If the new version of MS Office was released on the 2nd July 2016, then it will be called Office 2016 even though it is released in 2015 – there is a logic to this …

Microsoft have laid the clues in the build 9926. Where all previous builds expire on April 15th 2015, Build 9926 expires on 1st October 2015.

Now tradditionally the pre-release\escrow OS build has been available for a few weeks following the release of the OS, which has traditionally been released to the business community through TechNet & MSDN as the discs make their way to the store shelf. I believe that this version of the Operating System will follow the traditional release cycle management & then very shortly afterwards – maybe a month – be released to the public through download\update.

A couple of things are certain, there will be an optional upgrade process and if you have the latest TechP\Escrow build installed at release then you will also have an upgrade path.

Hope this helps

Windows 10 Release Date

OKay,

Over the past couple of months I’ve seen more and more posts (including those from parasitic world) claiming that they have the release date for Windows 10. Sadly there are only a few people who know the proposed release date (it could all move right on the calendar if there are serious issues), and I doubt whether they will be saying anything. For those who are involved outside the Microsoft organisation, they will have signed NDAs & will not be saying anything.

Here’s where I’m going to sit back with a grin bigger than the proverbial Cheshire Cat’s & feel very smug, as I clutch my lucky rabbits foot, four leaf clover & lucky white heather. Though if I’m wrong I could be pelted with goose eggs …

I’m going to say that Windows 10 will be released in mid-last quarter (last week of September) – (Microsoft have said last quarter) & there will be an upgrade path from the final Technical Preview\Escrow builds.

Know where you heard it first

Microsoft Office 365 available in Win10

OKay,

I’m going to reblog a twitter feed by Julia White (Microsoft) that will raise an eyebrow or two … Office is available for Win10 users & will likely be included in the build ..

The original posting can be found here .. http://blogs.office.com/2015/02/04/next-chapter-office-windows/

The next chapter of Office on Windows

Today’s post was written by Julia White, general manager for the Office Product Management team.

Editor’s Note

Update 2/5/2015, 1:15 PM: Thanks for your patience as we worked to resolve some issues with access and download of the Office for Windows 10 Preview. We’re happy to report that we’ve fixed the issues. You are now able to search the Windows 10 Store (beta) for Word Preview, Excel Preview and PowerPoint Preview to download the apps. 

Update 10:30 AM: We’re seeing some reports of issues accessing and downloading the apps. The team is working on a fix now. Please check back later.

Two weeks ago we shared our plans to introduce new, Universal Office apps for Windows 10 including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote, that can be installed on PCs, tablets and phones. Today, we’re excited to announce that Word, Excel and PowerPoint are now available for technical preview on PCs, laptops and tablets running the Windows 10 Technical Preview! In the coming weeks, we’ll open up our preview for the same apps on phones and tablets running Windows 10.

These “universal” Office apps are optimized for touch and mobile use and are a great way to take your work on the go, no keyboard or mouse required.

For more information on how to join the Windows 10 Technical Preview click here. If you’re already in the Windows 10 Technical Preview you can search for Word, Excel and PowerPoint in the new Windows Store Beta today and thank you for helping us test the Office for Windows 10 apps on your touch enabled PC, laptop or tablet.


Yesterday’s unveil of Windows 10 showcased a new generation of experiences that will empower people and organizations to achieve more. In partnership with Windows 10, the Office team is bringing a fantastic new set of Office experiences to this platform, furthering our mission to bring the unparalleled productivity of Office to everyone, on every device. Over the past 12 months, you’ve seen us reimagine the traditional Office experience for a mobile-first, cloud-first world. The next step in this journey is the delivery of touch and mobile optimized versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook for Windows 10.

Hopefully, you got to see the new Office experiences that Joe Belfiore demonstrated as part of the Window 10 announcements; if not–check out the demo of Word for Windows 10 here and the demo of PowerPoint for Windows 10 here using a Windows Phone.

Office “universal” apps on Windows 10 deliver a touch and mobile-first experience across devices

Office for Windows 10 offers touch-optimized versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook that work great on small screen devices like your phone and tablet—all the way up to the Microsoft Surface Hub. They are designed from the ground up to run on Windows 10, built for touch and offer the unmistakable Office experience you know and love. As “universal” Office apps, they truly are the same app across device size, providing a consistent way for independent software vendors and developers to extend and integrate with Office apps.

These new Office apps will be pre-installed for free on phones and small tablets running Windows 10, and available to download from the Windows Store for other devices. The Office universal apps will be available with the Windows 10 Technical Preview in the coming weeks and general availability is on track for later this year.

Simultaneously, we are hard at work on the next release of the Office desktop suite that will be called Office 2016. (Unexpected, I know!) We will have more to share on Office 2016 in the coming months, but this suite will remain the comprehensive Office experience you’re long familiar with, best suited for a PC with keyboard and mouse. We have compelling new experiences coming as part of this Office suite–stay tuned to the Office Blog for more details. We expect to make Office 2016 generally available in the second half of 2015.

With that context, let’s dive a bit deeper into the new Office universal apps for Windows 10. All of the new Office universal apps are designed for touch and mobile, working beautifully across devices.

  • Word for Windows 10—Create and edit great looking documents with Word. Review and mark-up documents, then share your work with others to collaborate in real time. The new Insights for Office feature (powered by Bing) in Read mode brings additional online resources like images, web references and definitions right to you in your reading experience.

Word_UI_1992x1172

  •  Excel for Windows 10—Use Excel to create and update spreadsheets and gain new insights as you analyze data and visualize it with charts. And new touch-first controls shine in Excel, you won’t even miss your keyboard and mouse when selecting ranges of cells, formatting your pie charts or managing your workbooks.

Excel_UI_900x530

  • PowerPoint for Windows 10—Create and edit beautiful presentations with PowerPoint. Then use Presenter View to prepare and present with confidence, even use Ink Tools to annotate your slides in real time so your audience really knows what you are talking about.

PowerPoint_UI_900x525

  • OneNote for Windows 10—Capture all your thoughts, ideas and to-do’s with the new version of OneNote. Getting things done with your friends, classmates and colleagues has never been easier with shared notebooks–now with the consistent Office ribbon experience.

OneNote_UI_900x530

  • Outlook Mail and Outlook Calendar for Windows 10—Crafting emails has never been easier or more powerful, with the familiar and rich capability of Microsoft Word built into the authoring experience. Simply insert tables, add pictures and use bullets and color to get your point across. Keep up with your inbox with new touch gestures that help you read, sort, flag and archive your mail.

Outlook_UI_900x530

If you’d like to see a demonstration of the Office universal apps for Windows 10 on a tablet, including differentiated experiences like the power of the pen and Insights for Office, check out this video from Office Mechanics:

The next chapter of Office on Windows is here.

—Julia White