Office Communicator 2007 "Offline" Status Missing

A not-so-publicized, but highly visible feature change with Office Communicator 2007 is the inability for a user to set their status to “Offline”.  This was a commonly used status in previous instant messaging clients such as Windows Messenger and Office Communicator 2005.

If your user community requires the Offline status, there are 2 options:

1. You can enabled this ability on the client through a Group Policy setting called “EnableAppearOffline”.  The Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 Policy settings are available here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=dd3cae08-3153-4c6a-a314-daa79d616248.

2. You can extend the Office Communicator 2007 client to add a custom presence state of “Offline” (and more custom states if you wish). This option requires registry changes on each client (tread carefully), and the use of an xml file which describe the custom state(s), so it is more difficult to rollout than option #1. It is possible to reference the custom state file on a share or web site, so you can define the same custom states for all of your Communicator clients. You can find more information and details on doing this in this Microsoft TechNet article: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb963925.aspx.

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