Microsoft Advances Real-time Collaboration Technologies

Microsoft pushed ahead this week with two of its real-time communications initiatives under the Office umbrella.

Microsoft announced Wednesday that several companies, including HP, will roll out offerings based on Microsoft Office Live Communication Server, an instant messaging and presence server. Earlier in the week, Microsoft released its "distinct but complementary" Microsoft Office Live Meeting service based on the PlaceWare Inc. technology that Microsoft acquired in April.

Microsoft Office Live Communications Server, formerly known by the code name "Greenwich" and briefly called Microsoft Office Real-Time Communications Server, will be the foundation of service offerings from HP, IPC and Sybari. The new Microsoft product was released to manufacturing recently and will formally launch with the rest of the Office family and Exchange products Oct. 21. But the availability of the final code makes it possible for partners to start building solutions on it.

HP wasn't specific yet on details of its plans but clearly signaled that Live Communications Server-based services would be part of its portfolio for customers. "We look forward to working with customers to roll out and embed Live Communications Server into their infrastructures and applications over the coming months," Tony Redmond, senior vice president and CTO of HP Consulting and Integration, said in a statement.

IPC, which provides integrated multimedia communications for financial traders, will be designing presence-based VoIP solutions that use Live Communications Server. Sybari, a security firm, will offer content filtering, file filtering and anti-virus tools for instant messaging users through Live Communications Server.

On Monday, Microsoft released Microsoft Office Live Meeting, the first Office-based service. The product is the first Microsoft-branded release of the existing PlaceWare Conference Center that Microsoft bought. Microsoft bills Live Meeting as a major upgrade with new presentation, scheduling and administration features.

Live Meeting offers a desktop console that geographically separated users can use to view presentations and interact with on documents.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.