Feeds

MS launches real-time comms package

Web chat, IM, VoIP, frogs and stuffed pigs

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

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

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Inside the Hekaton: SQL Server 2014's database engine deconstructed
Nadella's database sqares the circle of cheap memory vs speed
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
IRS boss on XP migration: 'Classic fix the airplane while you're flying it attempt'
Plus: Condoleezza Rice at Dropbox 'maybe she can find ... weapons of mass destruction'
Ditch the sync, paddle in the Streem: Upstart offers syncless sharing
Upload, delete and carry on sharing afterwards?
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.