Microsoft is to brand its forthcoming Real-Time Communications Server software as part of the Office family.
The software, which was known as Greenwich, but is now called Microsoft Office Real-Time Communications Server 2003, marks Microsoft's entry into the enterprise instant messaging and collaboration market.
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Microsoft hoped to win customers by offering security and management features lacking in free, consumer-targeted IM software, including its own MSN Messenger.
Applications in the Office 2003 suite will be integrated with the Real-Time Communications Server. For instance, a user receiving an e-mail in Outlook 2003 would be able to see from within the e-mail whether the sender is online and, if so, to initiate a conversation.
Now in beta testing, the Microsoft Office Real-Time Communications Server 2003 is scheduled for release during the third quarter of this year. Microsoft has not yet announced licensing and pricing details.
Stacy Cowley writes for IDG News Service