Wanted… a little simplicity

On July 30, 2005, in Exchange, by

In SBS 2000, we had built into Exchange an internal instant messaging inside the office.  It was our internal lunch ordering system “Hey Susan, what do you want for lunch?”, it was our internal ‘ping’ system to tell someone was in the lobby.  It never went outside the office [we had MSN IM if we needed that] and it didn’t connect to VoIP [heck we didn’t have VoIP]. 

So along comes Exchange 2003 [and ergo SBS 2003] and the folks at Microsoft realize how cool internal messaging is and pull it out to be a separate product.  No sweat for me as I have Software assurance on SBS 2000 so I am able to catch Live Communication Server 2003 as a benefit and I then proceed to stick “it” on Software Assurance as well to ensure that it’s kept up to date [I stick it on the three year SA plan so I get the media automagically].  Please note, this is one of the reasons that I love Software Assurance… so far the ‘bet’ I made on SA has handsomely paid off because I was able to keep my lunch menu system even after the upgrade to SBS 2003.

So .. I had to admit this.. but I have yet to upgrade my LCS 2003 [which I stuck on my member server since it’s now a separate license and I could] to the LCS 2005 version.  So someone the other day was saying how cool Office communicator was as he could log in there and have it forward cell phone numbers and VoIP info and what not [and I’m like…what’s Office Communicator?  Is that another new product or something?] and so as I’m putting away cdroms on Friday I realize that I have Office communicator as a part of the July media release I got for Live Communicator Server 2005.  You see it’s the update to Windows Internal Messenger 5.1 that I use now as an internal IM client to my LCS 2003.

…okay …but… I still argue that for my internal messaging needs.. you know… the one I use to arrange who’s going to get the lunch for the day… we don’t need anything to go ‘outside’ the firewall.  We don’t need a VoIP hook in.  We don’t need cell phone updates.  If I want anything that geeky…I’ll use MSN IM’s for external stuff.  I only want individuals to have a basic internal messaging system.  Nothing fancy.  And certainly not something that costs this much….$1,199 for the server and 5 cals?  Wow.  Definitely not SBSized anymore.  Good thing I caught LCS on software assurance when I did…I didn’t pay that when I signed up. 

Hmm… I’m definitely a gal who likes to update as I strongly believe that being on the latest [aka Borg] keeps you secure, but I do wish that someone on the LCS dev team would come up with a ‘lite’ internal only version of LCS.  You know… something that is just enough for people in the firm to say “if you are going to Taco Bell, make that a Chalupa and Mountain Dew please?”


2 Responses to Wanted… a little simplicity

  1. Vlad Mazek says:

    Look at your previous post about how nothing intial is perfect.

    I am sure that once things like VoIP become a norm this product pricing will come down as well, but right now it is an insanely difficult product to configure, manage, license not to mention support. Its not just the $1200 for the license, add on the cost of a monthly public IM access (for inter-operability) and all the other costs and it quickly becomes impossible to afford.

    I’m sure someone at Microsoft just looked at the costs of deploying VoIP and just said – lets milk this for all its worth. Once everyone has VoIP, we’ll reduce the pricing and let people tie into it seamlessly.

    The Office Communicator, honestly, is an incredibly nice product but its not worth the $$. We use Jabber on the inside for interoffice communication and I think thats what Microsoft figured as well. If they charge anything more than FREE they face resistance from public IM systems. If they tie it in with everything and the kitchen sink, they can ask for $250 per seat. Its all about recognizing your market and bending it over I suppose ;(

  2. Jason says:

    There are time constraints involved as well – SA on SBS 2000 gets a company into LCS with SA rights (no ca$h) only if they were signed by October 1, 2003. If you sign on Oct 14, 2003, then you pay rack rate (which is, as pointed out, not SBSized).


    Does my company qualify for Live Communication Server 2003 licenses as part of our Small Business Server Software Assurance purchase?


    If your company is licensed for Small Business Server (server license and CALs) with Software Assurance on a product that was signed and valid as of October 1, 2003, then you are entitled to an equivalent number of Live Communications Server 2003 CALs and/or server licenses at a nominal media fulfillment fee. Contact your Microsoft reseller for more details about how to take advantage of this offer.

    Referenced from FAQ’s at: