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Bill Gates oils up Microsoft's Lync product

Beam me up, Steve

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Microsoft released its rejigged office communications server yesterday, which was anointed by none other than William Henry "Bill" Gates III.

It has been renamed Lync and according to the company blurb, the software brings together instant messaging, presence, audio, video, web conferencing and voice under one roof.

Unsurprisingly, Lync hooks directly into MS Office, SharePoint and Exchange products.

Microsoft said that its Lync Server 2010 would be available for businesses of all sizes to buy from the start of next month.

An online version of the software will be slotted into the company's recently announced cloudy Office 365 offering at some unspecified point in 2011.

The software giant was so excited about Lync that it even got the firm's chairman Bill Gates to do a star turn at Microsoft's launch event in New York by appearing via a reportedly scratchy video link from Seattle.

"Unified communications is far stronger today than when we started on this path," said Gates. "This is probably the most important thing to happen for the office worker since the PC came along."

Hyperbole much? ®

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