Microsoft announced the opening of the beta program for Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005, or LCS 2005, previously code-named "Vienna." LCS 2005 is a new generation of enterprise instant messaging (IM) and presence-awareness server.
LCS 2005 builds on the foundation of the current version, LCS 2003, which provides a standards-based enterprise IM solution and an extensible real-time collaboration platform. The LCS is built using industry-standard protocols Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and SIP Instant Messaging and Presence Leveraging Extensions (SIMPLE).
"Live Communications Server 2003 was our first step in revolutionizing the way information workers leveraged presence information to communicate in real time and within the context of the business productivity applications, servers and services that make up the Microsoft Office System," said Gurdeep Singh Pall, general manager of the Live Communications Group at Microsoft. "The value of IM and presence significantly increases as more users are added to the network, and Live Communications Server 2005 will enable customers to extend the benefits of real-time communications to a broader set of stakeholders such as partners, suppliers and customers, enabling them to make better decisions faster within a more secure and managed environment."
Some of the features added include:
LCS Federation (between organizations). Presence information and IM now can be extended to partners, suppliers and customers. Two or more organizations will be able to communicate and collaborate in real time, in an encrypted, authenticated and managed environment.
Outside access solution. End users now can connect to presence and IM capabilities when they are outside the corporate network, whether working from home or on the road, or visiting customers or partners.
The LCS 2005 beta program is open for nominations starting today. Those interested in participating should contact their Microsoft account manager or sales representative for instructions on how to nominate their organization.