Feeds

MS launches real-time comms package

Web chat, IM, VoIP, frogs and stuffed pigs

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

Microsoft Tuesday unveiled a major push into communications software that allows office workers to stay in closer touch with integrated web conferencing, internet telephony and instant messaging tools. The software giant announced an updated version of Microsoft's Live Meeting web conferencing and collaboration service; Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005 for corporate instant messaging; and Office Communicator 2005, an integrated communications client formerly code-named "Istanbul".

Bill Gates described the software as an "evolution of Office" that will "break down silos of information", allowing workers to communicate more efficiently. He added the software would help ensure workers are "not overwhelmed with stuff they don't care about".

I'll send an SMS to the world

Office Communicator 2005, due to be release Q2 2005, is positioned as a multi-media successor to Windows Messenger, and the preferred client of Live Communications Server (LCS) 2005. A service pack to LCS 2005 provides hooks that allow users to send messages to users on MSN, AOL and Yahoo! public IM network. Other features include improved logging capabilities and features to block nuisance SPIM (spam on IM) messages.

Microsoft plans to build presence awareness into all its software applications, so workers can view the availability of a person and whether they are in or out of the office before initiating communication. Users can then choose the most appropriate mode to begin communication by either email, phone, IM, SMS, videoconferencing and web conferencing.

Redmond is partnering with telcos such as BT and communication vendors such as Siemens and Alcatel to develop services based on its technology which it hopes will allow it to tap into the emerging web conferencing and internet telephony markets.

Geo-synchronous

Microsoft execs demonstrated Communicator and LCS 2005 during a web conference hosted in San Francisco and including participants from Los Angeles and Chicago. Gurdeep Singh Pall, a VP in Microsoft's Real Time Collaboration Group, who flew over to London to participate in what was supposed to be an international conference was sidelined during the demo.

The demo showed how users were given a caller's identity and job title (pulled from a corporate directory) when they received a call. PC to telephony integration software allows use to click on a mouse to answer calls or set up rules to forward messages to a mobile phone. The software allows users to take a phone conversation and turn it into a videoconference or web conference with multiple participants.

The software worked smoothly enough but Microsoft execs were clearly unfamiliar with dealing with the delay introduced by satellite circuits and ended up talking over each other, rather like a Robert Altman movie but without the witty banter. Echo-cancellation software might have helped. The demo was running late and ended abruptly when the satellite connection timed out and was lost but not before Troy, 'star' of US reality TV show The Apprentice, had managed to pepper the dialogue with a series of bizarre interjections. MS execs didn't know what to make of the talented celebrity's comments that he was "happy as a frog on a hot plate" or that something else was "sweating like a stuffed pig", and nor do we. ®

Related stories

Microsoft punts telco platform
WebEx sues Citrix for cybersquatting
Cisco adds scrambler to IP telephony
Cisco buys IP conferencing firm
Web Conferencing Ready for Prime Time
Back to the Future with the MS Real-Time Communication Server

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.