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Beta Unveiled of Live Communications Server 2005

Microsoft this week opened a beta program for the second-generation version of its instant messaging server.

The project, previously known by the code-name "Vienna," will be called Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005, or LCS 2005. The first version, Live Communications Server 2003, shipped in October as part of the Office System 2003 launch. Microsoft expects to ship LCS 2005 in the fourth quarter.

Microsoft positions LCS as a standards-based enterprise instant messaging server and a real-time collaboration platform. One of the key enhancements built into the new version is support for extending presence information and instant messages to partners, suppliers and customers. The previous version was limited to exchanges between parties inside the firewall.

A related improvement allows end users to connect to presence and IM capabilities from outside the corporate network. Microsoft says the architecture of the system has also been improved for better reliability, availability and scalability.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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