Mino – The UC Guy

Microsoft Unified Communications Blog

Office Communicator Custom Presence States

Posted by Mino on February 28, 2009

Any Post starting with this disclaimer means that this post was not written by me however I liked it and added to my blog. I will also include the link to the original or Similar post to provide credit to the original author


Office Communicator 2007 offers a few user defined areas, the Note, your location and Custom Presence

Please note something important – there is no defined custom presence that includes the Yellow (away) status. The reason is that it is not supported as it was deemed to be a value that you wouldn’t set yourself but would be set based on your activity. I would agree with that for Away but Be Right Back I can set but it is what it is. What happens if you set one of the states to the Yellow (away) states – none of the custom presence items show.

Another item to note that can be a bit annoying – you can’t sign in with the custom presence, you have to sign in with a standard state and then change. My approach is to pick the state that matches what I will eventually select with my custom text.

Here is syntax for my presence.xml used for what you see and I also included a reg file. Please note that you can put the xml anywhere just update the reg file syntax for the correct path.

    <customState ID=”1″ availability=”online”>
        <activity LCID=”1033″>Out and about – use mobile</activity>
    <customState ID=”2″ availability=”Busy”>
        <activity LCID=”1033″>Down in the lab – use mobile</activity>
    <customState ID=”3″ availability=”busy”>
        <activity LCID=”1033″>Reviewing program documents</activity>
    <customState ID=”4″ availability=”do-not-disturb”>
        <activity LCID=”1033″>Executive Briefing with Customer</activity>

and here is the syntax of my presence.reg file

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00



3 Responses to “Office Communicator Custom Presence States”

  1. Jason said

    This is useful until you have to lock your PC. Which at that point it will always goto Away. if we are available and we lock pc i see where away would be nice but if we set something manually it should stay when we lock PC.

  2. Harry Nails said

    I am trying to code a custom “away” status on the XML file but I’m not having any success.
    I noticed this and other online examples only use availability=”online” | “busy” | “do-not-disturb”, but I haven’t seen any availablity=”away” (which does not work for me) or equivalent that will produce a custom “yellowish” state.

    Where is the XML-related documentation, by the way?

    Also, Jason’s point is very appropriate. If you manually set a custom state to whatever, you would very well like for it to stick, even if you lock your PC. This MOC retard behaviour ruins most attempts of signaling your co-workers a more meaningful state.

  3. Bryan said

    I too agree with Jason. I made my custom states intentionally for when my computer was locked, but cannot use them. I want to be able to tell people why I’m away so they know if it’s worth waiting on me. It would be very useful in my job.

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