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Microsoft seeds second comms server release

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Microsoft is working on an update to its unified comms software, uninspiringly dubbed Office Communications Server 2007 R2.

The upcoming release is currently in private beta, and customers won’t be able to part with their hard-earned, credit-crunched cash for the software until February 2009 – if Microsoft RTMs on time, that is.

MS reckons its beefy collection of interlaced VoIP, video conferencing, and messaging tools could pull big biz its way despite the ongoing economic downturn.

However, the software giant remained shy on the number of sales it expects to score from the product – which will come loaded with group chat and screen-sharing tech in addition to the features found in OCS.

"This new release puts Microsoft on a rapid path to deliver voice software that does much more than a network private branch exchange (PBX) and with much less cost,” said MS business division president Stephen Elop.

A license for the standard edition of the current version of OCS 2007 starts at $699 a pop.

Redmond first trumpeted its plan for unified communications in 2006, with version one landing roughly a year ago. And it's not alone in getting terribly excited about the biz telephony market.

IBM and Ubuntu's commercial sponsor Canonical have also been punting their own versions of unified comms software at the corporate world in the past year or so. ®

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