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IBM hurls defiance at Microsoft after communications pitch flop

'Trust me, this stuff works'

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Enterprise 2.0 IBM suffered through an extremely glitchy demo of its unified communications software at the Enterprise 2.0 Conference today, but it still preserved enough bravado to challenge Microsoft to a throw-down.

Live demo goblins nibbled mightily at Big Blue's pitch of its communication tools at their conference keynote today in San Francisco, California. Bruce Morse, vice president of unified communications and collaboration in IBM's software group, explained a voice conference demo that couldn't hold a call and multi-point video chat without video as a symptom of clogged tubes at the expo - which is actually a pretty fair excuse.

"Trust me, this stuff works. We use it every day in business and we have a lot of customers who've deployed it," he said. "But obviously we're having a bit of difficulty I presume with the network today."

IBM's basic pitch is that its communications package using Lotus Notes and SameTime will allow businesses to keep more of their current communications infrastructure as well as the iPods and other devices its end-users are using versus Microsoft's SharePoint and Exchange.

Unabashed by the error-prone IBM demo, Morse tossed the gauntlet at Redmond.

"I'm here today to tell you I'm not afraid to get in the cage with Microsoft - in their closed cage," said Morse. "And so, I'd like to issue a challenge today for Microsoft at VoiceCon in the spring, to put up or shut up. I'll be willing to match up our capabilities against Microsoft and let the audience judge."

Morse said he'd even be wiling to wear his wresting tights when the time comes. No no, we're sure the software face-off will be enough. ®

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