REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 15, 2003 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the release of a new service called Microsoft® Office Live Meeting, an online collaboration and Web conferencing service that empowers business people to conduct real-time, interactive presentations and meetings over the Internet. Live Meeting is the first fully hosted service within the new Microsoft Office System, which is scheduled to launch next month and is delivered by PlaceWare Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft. Live Meeting is a major upgrade to PlaceWare’s Conference Center and offers an easy and intuitive Windows® based interface with powerful new presentation, scheduling and administration features.
Live Meeting offers a native-based desktop console that follows familiar conventions of Windows-based software, making it easy to learn and use, and provides more flexible controls for meeting presenters. The new service also delivers rich, full-screen viewing options for meeting participants and feedback tools such as chat and a question/answer manager to make online meetings more engaging and productive. Subscribers also receive powerful scheduling and administration tools, and the option of customizing the service to include their own branding.
“Honeywell has been using the Live Meeting service for four years around the globe to conduct training, meetings and events, and it has steadily increased our productivity,” said Lee Allen, manager of e-business operations at Honeywell. “Live Meeting has enabled broader, more timely participation of employees, customers and business partners in these meetings and events. That participation, in turn, has helped Honeywell become more agile and better equipped to make smarter, faster decisions. We’ve been very satisfied with PlaceWare’s quick response to include the product features and functionality we need, and we’re looking forward to the newest version of Live Meeting because it more easily accommodates the various desktop platforms we support.”
Live Meeting is the first fully hosted service from the new Microsoft Office System, which helps highlight how dramatically different the new Microsoft Office System will be from its well-known predecessor, the Microsoft Office software suite. Live Meeting is a great solution for companies that want to conduct virtual meetings and online events to better communicate and collaborate with geographically dispersed employees, partners, customers and other audiences. The service is a natural fit with Microsoft Office because Office documents are the most frequently shared content in online meetings, and the new Microsoft Office System is specifically designed to better connect people, information and business processes across organizations.
“The Microsoft Office System goal is to connect people with each other and valuable information quickly, easily and cost-effectively. Live Meeting is a wonderful example of a service that brings people together live in small collaboration sessions, across their company or around the world. It helps business people share information, learn from each other and work together without the hassle, cost and delay required by travel,” said Anoop Gupta, corporate vice president of the Real-Time Collaboration Business Unit at Microsoft. “Savvy companies are embracing the benefits of Web conferencing, and IDC predicts 250 million people will be using Web conferencing applications by 2007. Microsoft will serve this growing space with its Live Meeting service and add unique real-time collaboration benefits to the new Microsoft Office System to help information workers around the world be more successful and productive.”
“Microsoft’s positioning of an upgraded conferencing service — formerly known as PlaceWare Conference Center — as an extension to its new Office System will encourage customers to create their own custom blends of insourced, outsourced, real-time and non-real-time collaboration,” said Mark Levitt, vice president for Collaborative Computing at IDC, a leading provider of global IT research and advice. “End users will be more likely to collaborate successfully when they have access to a palette of various collaborative tools that are flexible enough to meet diverse and changing business needs.”
Among its many new features, Live Meeting makes online meetings more engaging and productive through the following:
Completely redesigned interfaces for more convenient session scheduling, meeting attendance, administrative functions and report generation
Simplified navigation so participants can more easily perform tasks related to managing meetings and recordings
Improved flexibility in presenting content shown, such as full-screen views, movable annotations, and the ability to rename and reorder slides
Additional presenter tools to better manage meeting participant interactivity and meeting content
Keyboard shortcuts that reduce the time it takes to perform routine tasks such as displaying additional meeting information, hiding and restoring control panels, and advancing through slides
Microsoft also has enhanced the Live Meeting service infrastructure to take advantage of advanced clustering and load balancing technology.
Pricing and Availability
Microsoft Office Live Meeting service will be available to customers beginning Sept. 15. Current PlaceWare customers will be upgraded at no extra cost as part of their service subscription. Despite the expansive upgrades included in Live Meeting, pricing has not changed and includes two basic packages: Presenter and Premier Editions. The Presenter Edition offers presentation tools, persistent content (ongoing meetings), attendance reporting and application viewing. The Premier Edition extends the Presenter Edition by adding application sharing, printing and handouts, recordings, and Outlook®
scheduling. Pricing and licensing options are available through PlaceWare.
Launch Event Press Conference on Sept. 15
Gupta will conduct three press conferences during a single day in three separate cities — Boston (8 a.m. EDT), Chicago (1 p.m. CDT) and San Francisco (7 p.m. PDT) — flying from one city to the next. These events will highlight the difficulties road warriors frequently face and demonstrate that with Live Meeting business no longer has to mean business travel. In addition, Gupta will deliver the press conference virtually, using the Live Meeting service, where he will reach a global audience and emphasize the service’s ability to eliminate these types of business junkets. Those interested in attending can get more information at http://www.placeware.com/go/launchcc/ or http://www.placeware.com/cc/marketing2/.
Those participating should enter their name and the following information:
Meeting ID: getlive
Meeting Key: 650650
The audio information is as follows:
United States and Canada: (800) 230-0350, PIN 3366# or (503) 295-7443, PIN 3366#
United Kingdom: 0800 634 4223, PIN 3366#
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 that they derive the most value out of information. The Microsoft Office System consists of the 2003 editions of Microsoft Office, Microsoft Office SharePoint (TM) Portal Server 2003, Microsoft Office Project and Project Server 2003, Microsoft Exchange Server 2003, Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2003, Microsoft Office Live Meeting, Microsoft Office FrontPage® 2003, Microsoft Office InfoPath (TM) 2003, Microsoft Office OneNote (TM) 2003, Microsoft Office Publisher 2003 and Microsoft Office Visio®
2003. Enabling technologies, such as Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services and Microsoft Windows Server (TM) 2003, enhance the features and functionality of products in the Microsoft Office System.
About PlaceWare Inc.
PlaceWare Inc., a Microsoft company, is a leader in real-time, “carrier class,” multimedia platform and application services for Web-based communication and collaboration both inside and outside corporate firewalls. Enterprise customers prefer Live Meeting because of its architecture, which makes it more reliable, scalable and secure than other service providers in the marketplace. The Live Meeting service provides robust options for all types of Web-based communications, from large-scale meetings with up to thousands of attendees through small collaborative meetings, presentations and e-learning sessions. Live Meeting has already attracted more than 4,000 leading organizations that see Web conferencing as a natural evolution in helping their businesses compete more effectively in the global marketplace. More information about Live Meeting can be found by visiting http://www.placeware.com/ or calling (650) 526-6100.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) 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, Windows, Outlook, SharePoint, FrontPage, InfoPath, OneNote, Visio and Windows Server are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
PlaceWare Inc. is either a registered trademark or trademark of PlaceWare Inc. in the United States and/or other countries.
PlaceWare Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft Corp.
The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/contactpr.asp .