Integrated Communications going Mainstream Soon

March 7, 2007 at 8:50 am | Posted in Technical | Leave a comment

Microsoft will announce their integrated communications offering today! It is, of course, a beta release and will surely have some kinks to be ironed out before it should take over your life; but it does look promising.

The server package is entitled “Office Communications Server 2007”, and there’s a client called “Office Communicator 2007.”  No one has had a chance to give this a hands-on run yet, but my understanding is that the software can display your email and voice mail together in an Outlook-like interface, and that you can make phone calls by clicking the number in your Contacts list. If all of this sounds familiar, it might be because similar ideas have been in play in the mobile phone market for some time. In fact, many of the Office Communicator 2007 features are being developed side by side with Windows Mobile’s Communicator Mobile software, according to Microsoft’s Jeff Raikes.  

I really like the way the system is designed, so that it can either be hosted by a third party, or run on a server on-site. I think this will make Communications Server a great option for smaller businesses who don’t have the infrastructure to run their own integrated comms systems. I’m very interested in being able to have a telephone conversation using VoIP in which someone can send me a file using the same connection.

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