Saturday, November 10, 2007

HOW TO: Configure the Microsoft Communicator Phone Edition device

This post talks about the requirements and steps to configure the Microsoft Communicator Phone Edition device. The Tanjay phone I have includes a WindowsCE/Office Communicator touch screen allowing automatic sign-on to Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007.

The steps below outline how to configure the phone for internal communications only.


  • One Tanjay/LG/Nortel/Polycom handset
  • One Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 Standard Edition server
  • At least one SIP enabled domain user
  • An exported copy of the Domain or Enterprise root Certificate Authority certificate available on a network share
  • A network segment allowing DHCP client address leases
  • DNS properly configured to allow Office Communicator 2007 automatic sign-on

By the way, if you're trying to use the USB port on the back of the phone to upload a certificate I couldn't get this to work. Please post your comments if you've found a way other than described in this article!

Step-by-step configuration:

  1. Connect the phone's power and network cables
  2. Power on the phone and tap the exit button on the screen
  3. Double-tap on the My device icon
  4. Scroll down to Control Panel and double tap to open
  5. Double tap the Owner information
  6. Tap the Network ID tab
  7. The dialog box will require you to enter a username, password, and domain. You may need to tap and hold the title bar to move the window around since the virtual keyboard consumes most of the screen. Use a valid domain account with permissions to the file share where you exported your root certificate. Tap the OK button when you're done.
  8. Click the "X" button to close the window
  9. You should see a mini windows explorer style interface. Tap the View menu and choose Address bar
  10. Tap the address bar window and enter the location of your root certificate. For example, \\servername\sharename. Be sure to tap the return key on the keyboard to "confirm" the share entry. If all goes well you will see the files/folders of your server and hopefully your certificate. If you have difficulty with this step you may need to return to the Owner information screen to re-validate the credentials used. I had to repeat this step several times since the keyboard will obscure the view of what you're typing.
  11. When you've located your certificate tap and hold to select it from the menu. Tap Copy and navigate to My Documents. Tap and hold to open the context sensitive window again and tap Paste.
  12. Open Control Panel again and choose Certificates
  13. Tap the Import button and tap the OK button
  14. Navigate to My Documents and choose your certificate
  15. So now you're probably wondering how to get the OCS client running again right? Navigate to the Windows folder and double-tap the domo shortcut
  16. Enter your credentials and you're done!

Now for my thoughts on the 16-step process...

If I had to provision several hundred of these for a client I would likely loose my mind! Between the goofy full screen keyboard hiding critical text boxes and the system time not being set correctly I wouldn't be able to sleep at night proposing this solution to a client. There are serious holes in the entire Office Communications Server and Communicator documentation relating to infrastructure design, implementation, and supportability.

Perhaps there is a better way? I hope those who know will inform the rest of us because Microsoft's documentation is lacking this fundamental component -again.


  1. Have you seen this blog post?

  2. Crud, mis-click -- my apologies. I meant this article: