[This is pre-release documentation and subject to change in future releases. This topic's current status is: Milestone-Ready]

Topic Last Modified: 2010-07-18

This section discusses new client and server features you should be aware of when planning for deployment. Important changes or enhancements are available in the following areas:

Client Configuration

In Microsoft Communications Server 2010, the Group Policy settings used in previous Communications Server releases are now controlled by server-based, or in-band, client policies.

In-band settings are managed by using the Communications Server Control Panel, the Microsoft Windows PowerShell command line interface, or both. These tools replace the Windows Management Interface (WMI) snap-in used to manage settings in previous server releases. For example, in Office Communications Server 2007 R2, you could use Group Policy to override conferencing policies for specific users. In Microsoft Communications Server 2010, you can centrally manage all settings and apply them at the global level, site level, or tag level (tags are settings that can be applied to a single user or to a group of users).

If you have an existing Office Communications Server 2007 R2 deployment, Office Communications Server 2007 R2 clients will continue to use Group Policy during side-by-side migration. However, if you want policies to carry over to Communications Server 2010 clients, you will need to configure the equivalent Communications Server 2010 in-band settings.

Table: Comparison of In-band Settings and Group Policies

In-Band Settings Group Policies

Administrators can handle all client configuration tasks in a single location, using a single user interface.

Administrators must often work with other departments in the organization-such as Microsoft Active Directory Domain Services or messaging -in order to configure clients.

Settings can be configured at the global (domain or organizational unit), site, or tag level. Tags are settings that can be applied to a single user, or to a group of users.

Settings can only be configured at the global and user levels.

Server-based settings provide a consistent end-user experience for people who are not joined to the corporate domain, or who join using devices or remote clients.

Group Policies distributed by using Active Directory require that users be connected to the corporate domain using a computer.

Settings take effect immediately.

Users must sign out of Windows and then sign back in for settings to take effect.

Server-based settings are more secure because they don’t depend on the client application to enforce the policy.

Client applications could be modified by a malicious user to circumvent group policies, resulting in a potential security threat.

Installation and Updates

New features in this area are the distribution of setup as an executable file, and the addition of update link options to Communications Server 2010 Client Version Check.

Communicator Setup Executable

Setup for Microsoft Communicator was previously provided as an installer (.msi) package. However, the setup files for Communicator "14" and the Microsoft Communicator “14” Attendee are now provided as executable (.exe) programs. The Microsoft Silverlight browser plug-in, which is a prerequisite for Communicator Web App, is also installed through an .exe program. You can either deploy Silverlight for Communicator Web App users, or allow users to install Silverlight upon first use of Communicator Web App when prompted.

If you want to use Group Policy to deploy these applications, you must prepare the files for Windows Installer by creating a .zap file. For more information, see Packaging Software for Deployment at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc784175(WS.10).aspx, and Step-by-Step Guide to Software Installation and Maintenance at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb742421.aspx.

Communicator Version Update Options

Communicator clients can now receive updated software from Windows Server Update Service (WSUS) or Microsoft Update instead of from a location hosted on Communications Server. When you set a Client Version Policy for Communicator, the options Allow with upgrade and Block with upgrade are still available; however, you no longer need to specify a location on the server for updated software. Instead, if you are using WSUS, clients receive updates from WSUS. Otherwise, clients receive updates from Microsoft Update.

Alternate Meeting Clients

Users without Communicator "14" installed can take advantage of the enhanced conferencing and collaboration features of Communications Server 2010 by using either Communicator Web App or the Communicator “14” Attendee.

In addition, you can determine which clients are available to users by configuring the meeting join page.

Using Alternate Meeting Clients

You can provide users who don’t have Communicator "14" installed with the following options for joining Communications Server 2010 online meetings:

  • Communicator Web App

  • Communicator “14” Attendee

  • Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 R2 or Microsoft Office Communicator 2007

Use the following table to help you decide which of these clients is appropriate for your users and your organization:

Table: Conferencing Client Comparison Chart

Feature or Requirement Communicator Web App Communicator “14” Attendee Communicator 2007 R2 or Communicator 2007

Web application




Deployment or installation requirements


Client application (includes Silverlight installation)

Not applicable

New Communications Server 2010 conferencing features




Dial-in conferencing



Communicator 2007 R2 only

Integrated IP audio and video




Anonymous join by federated or external users



Federated only

Authenticated join by internal users


Yes, if already signed in with an earlier client


Authenticated join by external users




1All features are available except Microsoft PowerPoint file upload. Installation of a Microsoft ActiveX control is required for desktop or application sharing.

2Dial-out conferencing is also supported if it is enabled.

Configuring the Meeting Join Web Page

You can control the clients that are available for joining scheduled Communications Server 2010 online meetings by configuring the meeting join page. A user who tries to join a meeting but does not have Communicator "14" installed is presented with the meeting join web page, which provides access to Communicator Web App, Communicator “14” Attendee, or Office Communicator 2007 R2.

You can configure the client options that display on this page. For example, if you prefer not to deploy Communicator “14” Attendee, you can remove the download link from the meeting join page. For details about configuring the meeting join web page, see Migration Considerations for Online Meetings.

Enhanced Presence Privacy

With Communications Server 2010 enhanced privacy mode, a user’s presence is visible to contacts in his or her contact list but not to other people in the company.

This feature should not be enabled until all users in a given pool have been migrated to Communicator "14". Privacy management options can be compromised or reset if earlier client versions are present.

To ensure that this feature works as expected, see [XREF].

Manager/Delegate Scenario Changes

Communicator "14" fully supports the manager/delegate scenario. Microsoft Communications Server 2010 Attendant supports the receptionist scenario only. For the manager/delegate scenario, both manager and delegate must be signed in with the Communicator "14" client.

Communicator "14" Recording

The recording feature allows presenters to record all aspects of a Communicator "14" session including who attended, audio, video, and content such as IM conversations, application sharing, PowerPoint presentations, handouts, and whiteboards. By default, the ability to record is turned off. Recording can be enabled by configuring the recording conferencing policy. See the Conferencing section in Client Configuration Overview.

Communicator “14” User Photo Options

Communicator "14" supports display of user pictures. This section lists the default user photo options, and then describes how you can modify these defaults by using the Communications Server Management Shell.

By default, Communicator "14" users can access the following three choices by clicking Options, and then clicking My Picture:

Table: Default Communicator “14” My Picture Options

Option Description

Do not show my picture

The user’s picture is not shown.

Default corporate picture

Shows the user picture in Active Directory Domain Services.

Show a picture from a web address

The picture must meet the following criteria:

  • On a web server that does not require authentication

  • 30 KB or less in size

If you plan to allow the Default corporate picture option, ensure that user pictures are present in Active Directory Domain Services before deploying Communicator "14".

If you plan to allow the Show a picture from a web address option, be aware that users must already have a personal picture on a public web site such as such as Windows Live Essentials, Flickr, or Facebook. Detailed end-user instructions are included in the online help for this option.

Changing User Photo Defaults

You can change what is displayed on the My Picture options tab by using the Communications Server Management Shell cmdlet New-CsClientPolicy Windows PowerShell. The following table shows the relevant parameters:

Table: CSClientPolicy User Photo Options

CSClientPolicy Parameter Description


  • NoPhoto - Photos are not displayed in Communicator.

  • PhotosFromADOnly - Only photos that have been published in Active Directory can be displayed.

  • AllPhotos (Default)- Either Active Directory or custom photos can be displayed.


Indicates the maximum size (in kilobytes) for photos displayed in Microsoft Communicator. Setting the MaxPhotoSize to 0 prevents any photos from being displayed in Communicator.

The default value is 30 kilobytes.