Microsoft Co. Ltd., SOFTBANK BB Corp., and JAPAN TELECOM CO. LTD., announced that they are developing a security-enhanced, integrated communications service that combines voice over Internet protocol (VoIP), e-mail, Internet access, groupware, presence, instant messaging and desktop services with network infrastructure, and that they have formed a strategic business alliance to provide this service as a business-oriented solution.

The combination of Microsoft(R) Solution for Enhanced VoIP Services with the IP phone expertise of SOFTBANK BB, Japan’s largest carrier of IP phone services, delivers a platform with enhanced security that provides rich messaging, presence and collaboration functions with high-quality voice services. Further, JAPAN TELECOM plans to couple this integrated communication service with its high-quality networking infrastructure and managed network operation to provide its own information communication technologies platform service to the corporate market.

Linking the Microsoft Solution for Enhanced VoIP Services with BB Phone’s voice platform and JAPAN TELECOM’s managed network service will enable small and midsize businesses to take advantage of enterprise-class communications services, including VoIP services, to achieve increased productivity through internal and external real-time communications. The Microsoft Solution for Enhanced VoIP Services comprises hosted versions of Microsoft server products including Microsoft Exchange Server 2003, Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005 and Windows SharePoint(R) Services with Sylantro Systems Corp.’s Application Feature Server.

The companies plan to begin trials of the integrated communications services in spring of 2006.