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December 12, 2006

Microsoft launches private beta of Office Communications Server 2007

Posted by David Hunter at 9:39 AM ET.

Press release:

Microsoft Corp. today opened a private beta of its new enterprise voice communications server, Microsoft® Office Communications Server 2007, to 2,500 IT professionals. Office Communications Server 2007 allows companies to integrate voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) technology into existing telephony infrastructure, eliminating the need for expensive network overhauls and also extending the useful life of existing investments. The new voice server will also allow workers to instantly launch a phone call from 2007 Microsoft Office applications, such as Office Word 2007, Office Outlook® 2007 or Office Communicator, by simply clicking on a colleague’s name to determine his or her availability and initiate a person-to-person or multiparty call.

With native support for Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), Communications Server 2007 and Microsoft Office Communicator, part of the 2007 Microsoft Office system, interoperate with products from industry partners including Nortel Networks, Alcatel-Lucent, Avaya Inc., Cisco Systems Inc., LG-Nortel Co. Ltd., Mitel Networks Corp., NEC Philips Unified Solutions, Polycom Inc. and Siemens Communications Inc. Through these relationships, customers worldwide will be able to support VoIP using their existing desktop phones, data networks and time division multiplexing (TDM) or Internet protocol (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.

Microsoft is being coy about an availability date, but Office Communications Server (which had a shotgun wedding with Exchange in January) is key to Microsoft’s Unified Communications push. There’s also a Q&A on the whole lashup here.

Filed under Alcatel-Lucent, Beta and CTP, Cisco, Coopetition, Exchange, Microsoft, Mitel, Nortel, Office, Office Communications Server, Servers

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One Response to “Microsoft launches private beta of Office Communications Server 2007”

  1. Showdown at the Unified Communications Corral -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] Finally, on a related note, Microsoft announced a March beta for Office Communications Server 2007: In a keynote address at VoiceCon Spring 2007, Jeff Raikes, president of Microsoft Corp.’s Business Division, today predicted that in just three years, the average voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) solution for business will cost half what it does today, as VoIP systems move from hardware to software. Raikes also predicted that in the same time frame, 100 million people — twice the number of current business VoIP users — will have the ability to make phone calls from Microsoft® Office applications. … Outlining Microsoft’s progress toward delivering its enterprise voice solutions, Raikes also announced that Microsoft will distribute the public beta-test version of Office Communications Server 2007, Microsoft’s VoIP and unified communications server, and Office Communicator 2007, Microsoft’s unified communications client, to millions of testers later this month. There had been a private beta back in December. Filed under Office, Coopetition, Beta and CTP, IBM, Office Communications Server, Cisco, Microsoft, Nortel [...]

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