Today in his keynote address at the Fall 2004 VON Conference & Expo, Anoop Gupta, corporate vice president of the Real-Time Collaboration (RTC) Business Group at Microsoft Corp., outlined Microsoft’s real-time collaboration vision and strategy for integrated communications, and announced plans for a next-generation client. Building on the recent success and rapid adoption of Microsoft® Office Live Communications Server and Microsoft Office Live Meeting, Gupta introduced the newest member of the Microsoft Office System, code-named “Istanbul,” that will provide integrated communications capabilities including instant messaging, extensible presence, PC-based voice and video, and telephony integration.
“Customers depend on real-time communications to make more informed, timely decisions, and to stay better connected with their customers and grow their business,” Gupta said. “With ‘Istanbul,’ Live Communications Server and Live Meeting, we are providing pervasive real-time collaboration capabilities and empowering our customers to work together more effectively. ‘Istanbul’ represents a milestone by integrating various modes of communications in one unified desktop experience.”
As the preferred client for Microsoft Office Live Communications Server, “Istanbul” will enhance the business user experience:
*Enhancing presence and real-time collaboration. With “Istanbul,” presence becomes richer as additional availability data, including out-of-office information, is included. In addition, users are able to control their communications based on their presence.
*Improving usability. “Istanbul” will help business users take advantage of advanced communications capabilities more easily by consolidating applications into a single interface including instant messaging, conferencing and traditional telephony.
*Member of the Microsoft Office System. With “Istanbul” and Live Communications Server, presence and communications capabilities become a richer part of the Microsoft Office experience, including integration with Microsoft Office Live Meeting. End users will be able to initiate collaboration directly from their already familiar desktop applications.
The “Istanbul” client fits into the overall Microsoft vision for real-time collaboration by helping business users communicate more effectively through providing pervasive, integrated communications capabilities. Bringing together these capabilities and making them all accessible in Office and line-of-business applications will provide a greater degree of efficiency in quickly finding, connecting, communicating and collaborating in real time with colleagues, partners and customers regardless of application or location.
The “Istanbul” beta program is open for nominations. Those interested in participating should contact their Microsoft account manager or sales representative for instructions on how to nominate their organization.
“Istanbul” is scheduled for release in the first half of 2005.