Microsoft Releases Real-Time Communications Platform Beta Version

REDMOND, Wash., March 5, 2003 — Microsoft Corp. today released the first widely available beta version of its anticipated corporate server software technology for instant messaging and real-time collaboration, code-named

beta release delivers manageable enterprise instant messaging (IM) and an extensible platform that allows customers and partners to create new solutions and modify existing applications that incorporate presence, or knowledge of whether a person is online and available, and IM functionality.
is designed to foster a new era of enhanced communications that builds on presence being enabled throughout the enterprise across applications, networks and devices — and for more than just IM solutions.

is based on industry-standard technologies, and corporations will find it easy to deploy and manage using existing technology assets and familiar tools. The technology also allows enterprises to log instant messages to help protect corporate privacy and intellectual property and ensure regulatory compliance in certain industries.

“The delivery of this beta represents a milestone in the development of the ‘Greenwich’ technology, which is a component of delivering Microsoft’s overall real-time collaboration vision,”
said Anoop Gupta, corporate vice president of the Real-Time Collaboration Business Unit at Microsoft.
“We seek to profoundly change how corporations communicate, by bringing together best-of-breed presence and instant-messaging technologies with enterprise-grade control and manageability. Presence-based communications will revolutionize the way information workers collaborate, in the same way e-mail changed corporate communications in the late 1980s and early 1990s.”

The benefits of the
real-time communications platform include the following:

  • Presence-based functionality intended to increase the value of time-sensitive communications by directing messages to available users

  • Integration with the previously announced MSN®
    Messenger Connect for Enterprises service from Microsoft’s MSN, which provides authentication and manageability for business-to-consumer (B2C) instant messaging

  • Strong end-to-end communications based on industry security standards

  • Easy administration based on industry-standard technologies and familiar tools

  • A platform that includes data collaboration, PC-to-PC voice and video, and other services providing the foundation for future communications applications

  • Capabilities for logging IM conversations to help ensure regulatory compliance, customer service and security

Microsoft expects its new
technology to be adopted by customers seeking to help secure existing instant-messaging communications within their enterprise and with trusted partners, by enterprises seeking integration of IM and presence information in line-of-business applications, and by the communications industry.

“Real-time communications, with instant messaging as the initial application, is a revolution in the way companies collaborate. ‘Greenwich’ ensures that these capabilities can immediately become part of the core enterprise infrastructure,”
said Gurdeep Singh Pall, general manager of the Real-Time Collaboration Business Unit.
“Customers and partners told us they need an instant-messaging and real-time communications platform that is manageable, extensible and based on industry security standards; we’re confident ‘Greenwich’ meets these requirements.”

is slated for commercial release in mid-2003.

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.

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