Thursday, January 29, 2009

A Fail Whale for

This post was updated Feb 1 with additional information! See the bottom of the post.

We're upgrading from Live Communications Server 2005 to Office Communications Server 2007. This morning, our valiant OCS admin and the perimeter and network folks got the Edge Servers and the assorted firewalls, proxies and load balancers humming in perfect harmony. I can at long last run CoMo 2007 (Communicator Mobile) in my production environment!

Well, nifty – all I need to do is go download it onto my Windows Mobile phone. What's the URL? Happily I have my real computer with me at the time. Let's see, ah, yes that's right! They set up an easy-to-remember and easy-to-type URL that will take you right to the download. Very nice, especially for Windows Mobile users who have a very hard time of it typing in URLs (and a very difficult time navigating the rest of Microsoft's websites, for that matter). What was that URL again?

Aha, that's it – ! How simple! Great! I'm just minutes away from having enterprise IM in the palm of my hand! (And I just love my enterprise IM!)

Whip out my Moto Q9h, and… hmm, that's funny, the page is blank. No error message or anything, just a blank screen.

Try it from my iPhone. Ah, pocket Safari at least gives me an error message.

Eh? Server cannot be found? That can't be right. Try it from my laptop:

Ok, there's got to be some sort of temporary outage or something. I'll try again at lunch. And…nope.

Hmm, what's up with that?

That's no good! Well maybe we're just not asking the right DNS server. Easywhois, tell me, who does DNS for

Ok, NS[1-5].MSFT.NET, where should I find

Well there's your problem, ma'am:

So: to Microsoft and the team, this fail whale's for you!

Get well soon! Feel free to post a comment here when you get this fixed. :-)

Bonus link: the inspiring true story of the Fail Whale.

PS: I did open a case with Microsoft Premier Online. The case confirmation number is SRZ090130000453.

Updated Feb 1
: I received the following response from Premier:
"The web page says you can download the COMO version R2 from where R2 is not yet released. Its proposed release date is Feb 3rd but not sure until its released. In the same page on the right had side you have a link to Download the 2007 version of Communicator Mobile. Here is the link to download the COMO 2007. Please let me know if you have any questions. Have a nice day!"
Excellent! Now, I can just google for "getcomo". First result for "getcomo" is this page, so I can use the download link above! :-)

I guess it turns out that Microsoft was just a little premature posting the original page that says that you can download the R2 client from before that website is even available.

So this really shouldn't be a fail whale for but instead for whoever updated that web page out of sync with the actual product release. I'm very sympathetic - process problems are all too common. This wasn't a technical mistake or system problem with Microsoft's infrastructure. So by updating this post I hope it sets the record straight.


  1. Looks like is up now, but I haven't had a chance to try it from a WinMo device.

  2. Yup, is online! And it redirects you to

    However that CoMo page is currently returning 403 Access Denied, because it's not ready for public viewing yet. When it's ready, I'm sure they'll make it viewable.

  3. Oh, yeah, if you hit from a desktop browser, right now it'll send you to Getcomo only sends you to the como download page if you hit it from a mobile browser.

  4. RTFM comment: You can't use CoMo 2007 R2 until your servers has been upgraded to OCS 2007 R2. And unless you work for Microsoft, your backend hasn't been upgraded to R2 - it just shipped this week.

  5. Nice thanks for your informative post I really like it, I use twitter everyday and I update my status every hour.