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VoIP for Office Beta Coming this Month

Microsoft Wednesday announced it will release this month the public beta versions of Office Communications Server 2007, the company's Voice over IP and unified communications server, and Office Communicator 2007, Microsoft's unified communications client.

The announcement came in a keynote speech by the president of Microsoft's Business Division, Jeff Raikes, at VoiceCon Spring 2007 in Orlando, Florida. He said the two communications products will begin going out to millions of testers later this month.

Among the capabilities to be added are click-to-call features that will make let users place VoIP-based calls by clicking on the person's name within Microsoft Office applications such as Outlook and SharePoint Server.

Key to Raikes' pitch is the company's unified communications vision, first announced in February 2006.

At that time, Microsoft merged its Exchange Server group with its Real-Time Collaboration group, and said it thinks of two technologies comprising a "platform."

The idea is to let workers get all of their communications -- whether e-mail, instant messages, voice mail or VoIP calls, as well as audio and video conferences -- via a unified technology architecture and through whichever communications device the users choose.

Customers can register for the public beta test of Office Communications Server and Communicator 2007 here.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.

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