Verizon Business Adopts Hosted Microsoft Office Live Communications Server as Platform for Its Real-Time Communications Service Offering

REDMOND, Wash. — April 5, 2006 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that Verizon Business will use Hosted Microsoft® Office Live Communications Server, including Microsoft Office Communicator client software, as the platform for its newly launched Hosted Secure Instant Messaging (IM) Service. The new service, announced today by Verizon Business (NYSE: VZ), will enable companies to achieve security-enhanced, real-time collaboration and communications in the workplace. Verizon Business is the first announced network service provider to offer a service based on Hosted Live Communications Server to its customers.

Hosted Live Communications Server provides Verizon Business with a highly scalable, cost-efficient and easy-to-manage platform for offering security-enhanced and seamless instant messaging and presence services to its customers. Verizon Business can host thousands of customer organizations on a single instance of Live Communications Server 2005, helping reduce system management costs and enabling Verizon Business to scale the service rapidly to its customer base.

“Our Hosted Secure Instant Messaging Service makes real-time communications and collaboration a viable tool for business through enterprise-class performance, reliability and security,” said Ed McGuinness, chief marketing officer and senior vice president, Verizon Business. “Microsoft provides us with the platform and a suite of applications that enable us to extend new and valuable IP-based services to our customers.”

For Verizon Business, an enterprise-class instant messaging and presence awareness service was a logical extension of its unified and utility-based communications and collaboration platform, which also includes Hosted Microsoft Exchange Server 2003. As instant messaging has grown as a global communications medium for business, organizations need a seamless real-time communications platform with advanced security technologies that includes anti-virus, content filtering and session logging capabilities.

“Verizon Business has recognized the market need for a more secure real-time collaboration tool,” said Maria Martinez, corporate vice president for the Communications Sector at Microsoft. “Utilizing Microsoft technology, Verizon Business has created a truly enterprise-class unified communications service. Microsoft is uniquely positioned with a comprehensive suite of productivity applications to deliver a more secure, unified communications platform that Verizon can customize and offer to its customers.”

With Hosted Live Communications Server, Verizon Business can integrate Hosted Microsoft Exchange Server and instant messaging, connecting employees through e-mail and instant messaging applications. For example, if Microsoft Exchange Server is in use, presence information such as “busy in a meeting” or “out of office” is derived from the user’s Microsoft Exchange Server calendar and displayed in the presence field of Office Communicator.

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