by CIO Staff

Microsoft’s Unified Communications Plan Unveiled

Jun 27, 20063 mins
Enterprise Applications

Microsoft, the world’s leading producer of software, on Monday detailed its plan to extend the reach of its business software to telephones, instant messages, e-mail and other related communications technologies, in an effort to convince businesses that its upcoming Office product suite can be a single solution for all their complex communications needs, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports.

Microsoft showcased a number of planned products at an event in San Francisco on Monday that are meant to help link such communications technologies as traditional phone calls, e-mails and videoconferences, among others, according to the Post-Intelligencer.

Jeff Raikes, Microsoft business division president, said, “We are significantly expanding the capabilities that we offer,” according to the Post-Intelligencer.

The Redmond, Wash.-based software giant also addressed reports that IBM is connecting some capabilities of its Lotus Sametime instant messenger program and Web conferencing application to some Microsoft programs like its Office line and Outlook e-mail programs, the Post-Intelligencer reports, to enable users to launch Sametime applications via Microsoft programs.

“What IBM is announcing is not surprising, and it validates what have been core tenets of our real-time collaboration efforts for some time—that presence should not live in the [instant messaging] silo and that interoperability is key,” Microsoft said in a statement, according to the Post-Intelligencer.

Microsoft’s Communications Server currently connects with its Windows server application to offer similar capabilities, but connectivity between IBM’s Lotus Sametime and Microsoft’s Office and Outlook would give users the ability to run Linux or other operating systems instead of just Windows, according to the Post-Intelligencer.

The upcoming products, including Office Communicator 2007, Office Live Meeting and Exchange 2007 Unified Messaging, are meant to route communications to employees’ office phones, cell phones, e-mail or fax numbers, the Post-Intelligencer reports.

Microsoft is looking to grow its Office user base by delving into communications programs, and it expects the majority of its new product offerings, such Office Communications Server 2007, an update to its Live Communications Server, to be available by mid-year 2007, the Post-Intelligencer reports.

The majority of today’s businesses currently look to multiple vendors to provide communications like phone service, voice messages and e-mail, but Microsoft is attempting to prove that all such services can be provided by one company.

Related Links:

  • Microsoft Tests Office 2007 Online

  • Microsoft Unveils ‘CodePlex’ Website

This article is posted on our Microsoft Informer page. For more news on the Redmond, Wash.-based powerhouse, keep checking in.

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