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EMC is cosying up to Microsoft - or is it the other way around? The pair have ensured that as yet unlaunched Office 2007 and SharePoint Server 2007 can natively access EMC's Documentum ECM software.

The tools from EMC will enable Microsoft users to archive content manually or automatically from SharePoint to Documentum, while ensuring that content can still be accessed and searched from within SharePoint Server 2007. Integration means that users can easily access information to meet demands of compliance, information re-use and storage organization policies and procedures through familiar Microsoft applications, Microsoft syas.

EMC will deliver EMC Documentum Content Services for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2007 and EMC Documentum Archive Services for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2007 in the first quarter of 2007. Integration is also planned with SQL Server 2005.

Microsoft's aim of partnerships like this is to turn Office into a front-end to non-Microsoft systems, where information workers store important business data. This may give more users more reasons to upgrade. For many, Office is a word processor and spreadsheet and little else. According to Microsoft's figures, last year just 15 per cent of Office users ran the latest edition of the suite - Office 2003. Two years after launch. Office 97. Microsoft's goal was to upgrade two-thirds of customers to Office 2003, before Office 2007 launches.

Last May, Microsoft teamed up with SAP to let Office users tap information and workflows in SAP systems. Also announced this year were alliances between with HP, Motorola and Siemens to turn Office 2007 into a platform for unified voice, email, IM and video communications. Microsoft later this year releases the Office Communications Server 2007. ®

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