Making Connections Work and Release Harmonization

by Merv Adrian.

If you want to communicate with your clients, prospects, and colleagues, it's good to make sure that your channels are all working — end to end. Even the largest firms can struggle with this — and nobody gets any larger than Microsoft. The team from Redmond boasts a formidable array of communication technologies and keeping them all in synch can be challenging.

I recently had the experience of joining them for an analyst call, and there was a Live Meeting opportunity for a richer presentation. I was eager to take advantage of that and clicked the appropriate buttons. I was offered an enhanced Media Player stream but like many companies, Forrester locks down its configurations, so upgrading that was not an option. So I chose the web browser version instead. As it happens, IE is not one of the "locked down" components so I had already upgraded to IE7 (and that was not without its challenges; it doesn't work well with some key corporate systems we use here. But that's another issue.)

Well, that turned out not to be optimal either. I got the following message from Live Meeting:

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You can run Microsoft Office Live Meeting on your Platform, but some configuration changes could improve your experience.
You are using Microsoft Internet Explorer 7, a browser more recent than those tested with this version of Microsoft Office Live Meeting. If you encounter any problems using this browser with Microsoft Office Live Meeting, please try using Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 or Netscape 7.1 through 7.2.

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This did not turn out to be a catastrophe — some of the features I might have had access to were not available, but I was able to hear the speaker and see (mostly) the visual content. But it certainly should be a warning to anyone using internet-based conferencing — make sure you've thought through all the configurations you might encounter. If Microsoft can't support their own current releases in harmony with one another, just imagine what might happen to you! You certainly don't want to have to recommend a competitor's product.

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