Monday, December 11, 2006

Microsoft Releases Beta of Office Communications Server

Microsoft released a private beta of its enterprise voice communications server, Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 to 2,500 testers. Office Communications Server 2007, the successor to Microsoft Live Communications Server 2005, is part of Microsoft's unified communications portfolio.



Microsoft said Office Communications Server 2007 allows companies to integrate VoIP into existing telephony infrastructure. Users will be able to instantly launch a phone call from 2007 Microsoft Office applications, such as Office Word 2007, Office Outlook 2007 or Office Communicator, by clicking on a colleague's name to determine his or her availability and initiate a person-to-person or multiparty call.



Communications Server 2007 and Microsoft Office Communicator offer native support for Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and interoperate with products from industry partners including Nortel Networks, Alcatel-Lucent, Avaya, Cisco Systems, LG-Nortel, Mitel Networks, NEC Philips Unified Solutions, Polycom and Siemens Communications Inc.



Microsoft said these relationships will enable its customers to support VoIP using their existing desktop phones, data networks and time division multiplexing (TDM) or IP private branch exchanges (PBXs). Customers will also able to leverage the softphone capabilities of Office Communicator to make and receive phone calls from their PCs, eliminating the need to purchase expensive IP-compatible phones.



"The convergence of telecom and data networks is happening rapidly. Software will integrate these two worlds, enabling IT managers to deliver new communications possibilities that include VoIP," said Gurdeep Singh Pall, corporate vice president of the Unified Communications Group at Microsoft. "With this open architecture and broad interoperability, Office Communications Server 2007 will give IT managers the flexibility to determine when and how and in what way they move their communications infrastructure forward."



http://www.microsoft.com/

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