Microsoft Real-Time Communications Server 2003 To Offer More Secure, Manageable Instant Messaging for Enterprise

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., April 9, 2003 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that the technologies formerly referred to by the code name “Greenwich” will be delivered as the Microsoft®
Real-Time Communications Server (RTC Server) 2003 Standard Edition for more secure, manageable enterprise instant messaging. The Microsoft Real-Time Communications Server is a manageable and extensible instant messaging (IM) server that enables business agility by empowering corporations to reach, collaborate and respond to new information more quickly, and to take advantage of industry-standard protocols such as Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and SIP for Instant Messaging and Presence Leveraging Extensions (SIMPLE) when deploying and structuring real-time communications tools.

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.

“The take-off of instant messaging in the enterprise, even on an unmanaged basis, has shown how valuable real-time communications and ‘presence’ is to today’s information worker,” said Anoop Gupta, corporate vice president of the Real-Time Messaging and Platform Group at Microsoft. “With RTC Server, we believe we’re delivering the first step toward what our customers have told us they need to take advantage of this evolving communications landscape: an enterprise instant-messaging and real-time communications server that is manageable, extensible, based on industry standards, and can form part of a company’s strategic communications infrastructure.”

“By taking advantage of the ‘Greenwich’ beta and leveraging its extendable real-time communications capabilities, we were able to create our new OpenScape application,” said Bernd Kuhlin, president, enterprise networks division of Siemens Information and Communication Networks Inc. “The presence software makes it possible for us to provide a much richer real-time experience by delivering functionality that enables people to know when a colleague is available and helps them get in touch with each person on a contact list, via phone, cell phone, instant messaging or e-mail.”

A subset of the “Greenwich” technologies will be made available as an add-on component to Windows Server (TM) 2003 to add standards-based presence technologies, which indicate whether a person is online and available, to the operating system. The free add-on update to Windows Server 2003 will enable ISVs to build applications which, for example, extend presence capabilities to Web interfaces, incorporate notification services, or act as BOTs within enterprise systems. In addition, MSDN®
subscribers will receive a new RTC software developer kit (SDK), including a redistributable SIP proxy, that will allow them to develop applications using industry-standard SIP protocols.

“Our business partners in the communications industry have told us how important this core SIP routing capability is,” said Gurdeep Pall, general manager of the Real-Time Messaging and Platform Group. “We are committed to continuing to provide standards-based technologies that the industry ecosystem can build upon.”

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

“When we decided we were going to create our Reuters Messaging service, we turned to Microsoft as the company that really shares our vision of standards-based communication and collaboration services,” said Peter Moss, global head of product management, Reuters Group. “By developing the service in tandem with ‘Greenwich,’ we have produced a secure, presence-based, real-time messaging and collaboration infrastructure designed specifically for the global financial services industry.”

The Microsoft Real-Time Communications Server 2003, the presence add-on for Windows Server 2003 and the Real-Time Communications SDK for MSDN are expected to be available in the third quarter of 2003. Licensing and pricing for RTC Server has not yet been determined. The Windows Server 2003 add-on component will be available free to Windows Server 2003 customers, and the SDK will be available as part of a subscription to MSDN.

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