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Public Beta Opens for Office Communications Server 2007

Microsoft on Monday announced the release of public beta versions of Office Communications Server 2007, the company's Voice over IP and unified communications server, and Office Communicator 2007, Microsoft's unified communications client.

The company had said early this month that it was on track to release the betas before the end of March. It began a private beta test of the server in December.

Office Communications Server 2007 "enables customers to integrate voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) technology into existing telephony infrastructure, eliminating the need for network overhauls and extending the life of existing investments," according to company statements.

The new server will also let users launch voice calls from within Office 2007 applications, including Word 2007, Outlook 2007 and Office Communicator. By clicking on a colleague's name to determine his or her availability, users will be able to initiate person-to-person or multiparty calls.

Office Communications Server 2007 and Microsoft Office Communicator both support Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) so that they can interoperate with products from industry partners. Users will be able to find and communicate with colleagues from within applications such as Outlook or SharePoint, according to an e-mail statement from a Microsoft spokesperson.

The download for these betas can be found here.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.

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