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Microsoft Releases Office Live Communications Server 2005 For Manufacturing

Staff Writer
Published: 2004-10-26

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Microsoft today announced the release to manufacturing of Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005.

Part of the Microsoft Office System, Live Communications Server 2005, available for the first time in both Standard and Enterprise Editions, enables organizations to extend the benefits of enterprise instant messaging and presence awareness to remote business partners, customers, co-workers and suppliers, empowering them to quickly find and communicate with each other and ultimately make better decisions more quickly.

"The release to manufacturing of Live Communications Server 2005 marks an important milestone in delivering on our vision for extending the value of Microsoft Office System to encompass rich real-time collaboration capabilities, empowering people to work together more effectively," said Anoop Gupta, corporate vice president of Real-Time Collaboration at Microsoft. "This is a powerful upgrade to our standards-based enterprise instant messaging platform and delivers native federation capabilities, instant messaging and presence integration with the security and scalability requirements that are so critical for our enterprise customers."

Millions of people worldwide are already using Live Communications Server 2003, which provides encrypted, enterprise-grade instant messaging (IM) and presence capabilities inside an organization, as well as integration with the Microsoft Office System. Live Communications Server 2005 Standard Edition builds on this foundation by extending these benefits beyond the firewall:

-- Federation. With Live Communications Server 2005, two or more organizations can share IM and presence awareness in real time in an encrypted, authenticated and managed environment. Live Communications Server 2005 users also can share presence information and IM with suppliers and customers using MSN, AOL and Yahoo! public IM networks,* creating a channel for bringing geographically dispersed people together.

-- Remote user access. End users now can connect to presence and IM capabilities when they are outside the corporate network, whether working from home or on the road, or visiting customers or partners. Access is provided in a more secure and authenticated manner through the use of standard firewall ports, without the need to establish a virtual private network.

-- Increased scalability. Active user capacity can expand to allow up to 15,000 active IM users per server. This increase of 30 percent to 45 percent in capacity over the previous version of Live Communications Server will provide most organizations with ample space to house their active users and the ability to easily accommodate more as their business expands.

In addition, Live Communications Server 2005 Enterprise Edition customers will appreciate enterprise-grade architectural enhancements such as the following:

-- Improved architecture. An advanced, tiered architecture using Microsoft SQL Server benefits customers by substantially improving reliability, availability and scalability to mitigate the risk of unplanned downtime and deliver a higher level of availability. Deeper management options and administrative tools help reduce overall management time while increasing the level of administrative control.

-- Increased capacity. Enterprise-grade active user capacity allows organizations to pool Live Communications Server 2005 Enterprise Edition servers to support up to hundreds of thousands of users as their enterprise grows.

Live Communications Server 2005 also is an enterprise real-time collaboration platform built on the industry-standard Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and SIP for Instant Messaging and Presence Leveraging Extensions (SIMPLE). It provides a foundation for innovation in communication and collaboration that extends into line-of-business applications and enterprise telephony scenarios.

Live Communications Server 2005 also will maximize the benefits of innovative products such as the recently announced integrated communications client, code-named "Istanbul." Solutions leveraging Live Communications Server 2005 and "Istanbul" will give customers unified control of their real-time communications tools from one single messaging client, including control of their desk phone from their PC.

"As a leader in developing and deploying SIP-based technologies, MCI recognizes the power of combining the secure information pipeline enabled by Live Communications Server 2005 with a wide range of IP-based networking technologies," said Vint Cerf, senior vice president of Technology Strategy for MCI. "MCI was among the first companies to deploy Live Communications Server 2005 internally, providing real-life user input and demonstrating the benefits of secure instant messaging for enterprise customers. With security at the top of everyone's mind, Microsoft's launch of these new capabilities is helping establish good Net citizenship among its customers."

Pricing and Availability

Live Communications Server 2005 has been released to manufacturers and will be available Dec. 1 through standard Microsoft distribution channels and Microsoft volume licensing. Evaluation versions of Live Communications Server 2005 will be available in late November 2004. Also, customers who have received Live Communications Server 2003 grants as part of their Exchange 2003 Enterprise Agreements or Software Assurance agreements may be entitled to Live Communications Server 2005 within the context of their current agreement.

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