Windows 7 Makes the Most of Unified Communications

Unified Communications seems to be one of the hottest topics around and Microsoft Office Communication Server (OCS) 2007 R2 is Microsoft’s offering, however OCS 2007 R2 isn’t what’ I’m talking about.

I’m talking about how Microsoft have made a quiet few tweaks in Windows 7 to make using communications products that little bit nicer.

Let’s first set the scene. Your a remote worker at home connecting into your office with your Cisco IP Communicator or your OCS Client and your using a Bluetooth or USB Audio Device as a headset for making and receiving calls. In XP or Vista you change your Default Audio device to your headset so you can make your calls, however there’s a downside. Whilst your wearing your headset Windows decides to ding at you about something – And it will probably be a loud one!

Windows 7 has the answer.

Windows 7 lets you device a Default Audio Device which is your normal audio device like you have in any other version of Windows. The new thing here is that Windows 7 allows you to define Default Communications Device.


In the picture here, I have my Plantronics Voyager 855 Stereo headset (Stereo) as the default audio device for music to grace my ears whilst the Mono version is the default for Communications.

This is a great feature and it works with Windows Live Messenger. Unfortunately it doesn’t work with the Cisco IP Communicator which is what Vocera are using so it rules me out until Cisco make a Windows 7 version of the IP phone client. I’m stuck with the good old Default Device option.

Enjoy 7.


Richard works as a Cloud Consultant for Fordway Solution where his primary focus is to help customers understand, adopt and develop with Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and System Center. Richard Green is an IT Pro with over 15 years' of experience in all things Microsoft including System Center and Office 365. He has previously worked as a System Center consultant and as an internal solutions architect across many verticals. Outside of work, he loves motorbikes and is part of the orange army, marshaling for NGRRC, British Superbikes and MotoGP. He is also an Assistant Cub Scout Leader.