Microsoft Office Real-Time Communications Server 2003 Is Newest Member of the Microsoft Office System

Editor’s Note, July 24, 2003:
The name of the product referred to on this page as Real-Time Communications Server 2003 has changed to Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2003.

REDMOND, Wash., May 27, 2003 — Microsoft Corp. today announced its Microsoft®
Real-Time Communications Server (RTC Server) 2003 Standard Edition will add
to its name, clearly identifying it as a member of the company’s highly anticipated Microsoft Office System of programs, servers and services to be released later this year. The Microsoft Office Real-Time Communications Server is a manageable and extensible instant messaging (IM) server that enables people to communicate in real time across enterprises in a manageable and more secure way than is possible with consumer-oriented services. An extensible platform as well as an IM solution, the RTC Server will allow developers to build real-time communications capabilities into their own applications. The RTC Server is a natural fit in the Microsoft Office System, which is designed to better connect people with each other, information and business processes across an organization to transform information for business impact.

“People are rapidly adopting text instant messaging for day-to-day business use, but are currently limited to discrete consumer-oriented services,”
said Anoop Gupta, corporate vice president of the Real-Time Collaboration Business Unit at Microsoft.
“With RTC Server deployed with other Microsoft Office System products, such as Outlook® 2003 or SharePoint (TM) Portal Server 2003, information workers will be able to send instant messages to colleagues from within the productivity applications they use every day. Collaboration in context delivers greater relevance. Collaboration in real time allows for faster resolution of issues and shorter time to decisions. It’s a powerful combination we believe information workers will embrace.”

RTC Server makes it possible to incorporate presence, or knowledge of whether a person is online and available, into productivity applications and enterprise line-of-business applications to foster instant communication and collaboration among information workers across an enterprise. The new Microsoft Office System applications to be released later this year will include presence. For example, when a user receives an e-mail message in Outlook 2003, he or she can see whether the sender is online and available and initiate an instant messaging conversation with the sender from within the e-mail. Information workers visiting a portal created by Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003 can see the presence of their teammates and initiate instant collaboration sessions in the portal environment.

The presence and real-time communications capabilities of the RTC Server offer developers an important platform upon which to build their own communications, productivity or line-of-business applications.

“Microsoft is committed to fostering a strong ecosystem of development around the real-time communications platform elements in RTC Server,”
said Gurdeep Singh Pall, general manager of the Real-Time Messaging and Platform Group at Microsoft.
“It’s critical to our customers’, our industry partners’ and our own success.”

Built on industry-standard protocols, such as Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and SIP for Instant Messaging and Presence Leveraging Extensions (SIMPLE), the RTC Server will enable corporations to deploy and structure real-time communications tools as an integral part of their information infrastructure. Corporations will find RTC Server easy to deploy and manage using existing technology assets and familiar tools. The server offers enhanced security and manageability of instant messaging, making this popular form of communication an asset to enterprises that value productivity but need enhanced security and archiving capabilities. RTC Server will allow enterprises to log instant messages to help protect corporate privacy and intellectual property and help ensure regulatory compliance in certain industries.

Hundreds of customers and application developers using Windows Server (TM) 2003 have downloaded the beta version of the RTC Server since it became available in March, and every day more companies are seeking ways to help workers become more efficient and effective by conducting business in real time.

The Microsoft Office Real-Time Communications Server 2003 is expected to be available in the third quarter of 2003. Licensing and pricing for RTC Server has not yet been determined.

About the Microsoft Office System

The Microsoft Office System is an easy way to help more people use information to positively impact their business. Through a system of familiar and easy-to-use programs, servers and services, users can connect people and organizations to information, business processes and each other — helping ensure they derive the most value out of information. The Microsoft Office System consists of Microsoft Office 2003 Editions, Microsoft Office FrontPage® 2003, Microsoft Office InfoPath (TM) 2003, Microsoft Office OneNote (TM) 2003, Microsoft Project and Project Server, Microsoft Office Publisher 2003, Microsoft Office Real-Time Communications Server 2003, Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003 and Microsoft Office Visio® 2003. Enabling technologies, such as Microsoft Windows®
SharePoint Services, Microsoft Windows Server 2003, and Exchange Server 2003 enhance the features and functionality of products in the Microsoft Office System.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft, Outlook, SharePoint, Windows Server, FrontPage, InfoPath, OneNote, Visio and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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