My views on MS Live Communicator
Just got out of a session on the MS Office Live Communicator. Focus was especially on integrating Live Communicator into your own web pages and client applications.
If you have read my other posts on this conference you will know that I am deeply impressed by Office 2007 in general. However Live Communicator is frankly not a good application!
A few short points:
– API MUCH more limited than Skype’s
– Only for internal use – all users must be connected to a Live Communications Server
– Draconian security settings combined with a number of – “you must download this ActiveX” for this to work at all!
– A callto: link only opens the dialling window – it does not actually dial the phone number.
The main focus of the session, though is interesting: Contextual communication. MS wants 3rd party developers to integrate this into their own applications. So when users collaborate on, say a loan application, they will have the online status of the loan officer, general manager and president of loans (or whatever) right in the interface for approving the loan application.
Very nice idea, but let me tell you – this is easier, quicker and more powerful to do in Skype! imho
It is easier now with the new ActiveX-components (soon to be properly documented and published) and the Skype Web technology and it will continue to become more powerful.