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Microsoft Killing Live Meeting Service, Adding Skype for Business Mac Features

Microsoft offered some good news and bad news this week for users of its unified communications products.

The good news pertains to Mac client users of Skype for Business Server 2015. There's bad news afoot, though, for organizations still stuck on using the venerable Office Live Meeting unified communications service.

Office Live Meeting Is Dying
On the bad news side, Microsoft today indicated that Office Live Meeting can be used "no later than December 31, 2017, at which time the existing Live Meeting service will be fully shut down." Office Live Meeting is an early Microsoft unified communications offering that had its debut 10 years ago, but it will end after this month. Microsoft wants users to migrate to Skype for Business instead. The last warning from Microsoft about its impending demise seems to have occurred back in March.

Office Live Meeting users have some resources available to get off it. Tools for IT pros are available at the Live Meeting to Skype for Business resource site. There's also help through FastTrack, a partner effort. Microsoft also produced a new "Recording Exporter Tool," which will download any or all meetings recorded using the Office Live Meeting service. It's available at the GitHub repository here.

Organizations possibly may have stuck with Office Live Meeting for so long because it supported 1,250 attendees maximum. Skype for Business supports 250 attendees maximum, or it supports 10,000 attendees maximum when used with the added Skype Meeting Broadcast service.

Skype for Business Mac Features
The December update to Skype for Business Server 2015 will turn on some new features for users of Mac clients, Microsoft announced this week.

First of all, Mac users can finally call for help in an emergency. They're getting support for E-911 phone calls. Of course, there's a technical catch that may require the attention of IT pros.

"For West Safety Services customers, this may also require installing Emergency Gateway Version 5.4. (Requires SfB app version 16.11 or later)," Microsoft's announcement explained.

The December update also lets Mac users attach files to their chat sessions. IT pros have to enable this feature, though.

"Note that the EnableFileTransfer property of CsPlatformServiceSettings must be enabled for this feature," the announcement explained, regarding activating the attachments feature.

IT pros also now have the option to block users outside the organization's network from signing into the service.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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