Communications Server 14 and Live Messenger Beta

Some of you may have heard by now that CS14 will have the capability to do video and audio with Windows Live Federated contacts. Well the proof is in the pudding so they always say. Here is a screen shot of a HD video session between a fellow MS employee and myself.

Before I took the screen shot, I had Ben on full screen on Messenger. The quality was amazingly clear in full screen. The Live team has done a great job of enabling this interoperability.


You might think so what, he was in the room next to you. Well, not quite. Ben was working at home in New Mexico on his Comcast connection and I was working at home in Seattle. This was using about 1.5mb of bandwidth so a pretty intensive workout for our Comcast connections but other than Ben moving to Miami to increase the distance it’s a pretty good test of the quality on an uncontrolled network. This of course was possible because of the use of RT Video codec. When you think about how many consumers have Live accounts and access to Messenger this becomes a very attractive feature to have in consumer facing organizations that upgrade to CS 14 in the near future.

One thing to keep in mind is that your media session will not be encrypted. It is an RTP session and not SRTP. Just something to be aware of. I think this won’t bother most organizations as having the capability will be a big advantage over not having it regardless of encryption.

Even without this feature the new Windows Messenger experience is a major change from the previous version. With social networking features it has the ability to aggregate a large percentage of online activity. It is an awesome free client far exceeding my expectations.

Get the Windows Live Essentials Beta here

Comments welcomed.


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