Microsoft Sets Launch Date For Voice And Video Software - InformationWeek

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Software // Enterprise Applications

Microsoft Sets Launch Date For Voice And Video Software

Bill Gates and Jeff Raikes will help introduce Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007, Office Communicator 2007, and Microsoft Live Meeting.

Microsoft said Tuesday that it has set an Oct. 16 launch date for a suite of products it hopes will increase its presence in the market for enterprise communications software that goes well beyond e-mail.

The products, Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007, Office Communicator 2007, and Microsoft Live Meeting, are part of Microsoft's unified communications suite and are designed to help companies add voice, video, and instant messaging to their communications networks with minimal disruption.

Microsoft has said the 2007 versions of its unified communications software products will allow users to make an easy transition from PBX systems, networks, and desk phones to add voice-over-IP and other digital communications tools without ripping and replacing existing infrastructure.

Microsoft is already making trial versions of the products available for download.

Underscoring the products' importance to Microsoft, company chairman Bill Gates will officially unveil the software himself on a live Webcast scheduled for the launch date, Microsoft said. Jeff Raikes, president of Microsoft's business division, will also participate.

About the same time, Microsoft is also expected to make generally available its Quality of Experience Monitoring Server, which enables telecom managers to keep tabs on the quality of communication services.

The news was well received at the VoiceCon conference in San Francisco, where Gurdeep Singh Pall, corporate VP of Microsoft's Unified Communications Group, was giving a related keynote.

In addition to highlighting the company's voice and video plans, Pall showed how Microsoft's 3-D aerial mapping service Virtual Earth could be incorporated to view the physical location, such as a building, where a problem existed in a global operation.

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