Office Communicator is not syncing with Outlook

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Office Communicator is not syncing with Outlook
When nobody else arrives for the meeting, synchronisation issues could be the reason. (Courtesy of Microsoft)

Microsoft Office Communicator and Microsoft Office Outlook are key parts of the Microsoft Office suite on corporate networks. When Communicator does not synchronise correctly with Outlook, it can cause problems with an individual’s scheduling. Multiply this by all the people in an organisation and there is the potential for administrative chaos. You can tackle the issue by changing settings and/or upgrading applications.

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Microsoft Office Communicator is an authorised, free communications add-on for Microsoft Office. The application allows greater collaboration between project participants and gives others access to your desktop. Further, you can share videos and other documents with contacts.


Outlook is an application for managing emails. It includes a calendar, a contact manager and a task manager. You can also use it to write notes, keep a journal and for web browsing. You should be able to use Outlook to indicate your availability or otherwise and share this information with Office Communicator. This way, you should not be interrupted by instant messages, telephone calls or for any other reasons when you are busy.

The problem

According to Microsoft Office Communications Server Support team member Colin Hoag, because of the way Communicator accesses information, sometimes the updating is not as effective as it should be. Hoag tentatively suggests lowering Communicator’s default polling setting from 30 to 15 minutes, although this can cause other performance issues. Further, ensure the "Update my presence based on my Outlook calendar information" in Communicator option is ticked.

Recommended upgrades

According to Microsoft Support, the problem is caused by different versions of Outlook and Microsoft Exchange Server being unable to work together properly. This is because there is a delay feature built into Outlook 2003 and Microsoft Exchange Server 2003. The problem should be solved by upgrading from Outlook 2003 to Outlook 2007 and from Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2007 or Exchange 2010.

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