Public IM Usage in Communicator – Known Issues and Reminders

OCS and Communicator have the ability to communicate with the Public IM contacts – specifically users on MSN (now Windows Live), AOL, and Yahoo!. There are a few known issues and limitations that I wanted to recap for the benefit of others.

Functionality Available for Communication with Public IM Contacts

A reminder that communication with Public IM Connectivity (PIC) contacts today is limited to peer-to-peer (no multi-party), and Instant Messaging and Presence information only – no audio, video, desktop sharing, or file sharing (see Known issues that occur with public instant messaging and Communications Server for more information).

Special Format to Use when Adding an MSN Contact that has a Non-MSN Domain

When a Communicator user is adding an MSN contact with a non-MSN domain, the user needs to add the contact using the special format: user_name( See “Communicate with MSN, AOL and Yahoo! users” for more information.

Issue with the ‘Add Contact’ Wizard when Adding an MSN Contact with a non-MSN Domain

There is an issue in the Office Communicator client such that when a user attempts to use the “Add Contact” Wizard to add an MSN Messenger contact who has a non-MSN domain, they receive an “Address is not valid” error:

MSN Address Not Valid

The workaround is to use the Communicator contact Search text box to add the contact.

Other Public IM Usage Reminders

Lastly, recently Additional Windows Live Messenger PIC/Federation IP Addresses (as reported on the Microsoft OCS team blog) have been added to increase federation capacity. You should read the above blog entry if your organization federates with MSN via specific IP addresses.

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