Saturday, October 09, 2004

Microsoft to Muscle Deeper Into VOIP?

...and becoming a telecom provider?

Wednesday, October 06, 2004
By Mary Jo Foley

Microsoft is expected to play up Live Communications Server 2005, due out this month, as a key piece of its quest to conquer the telephony market.

While Microsoft's Live Communications Server (LCS) is first and foremost an enterprise instant-messaging server, Microsoft is expected to position its 2005 version as its entr´┐Że into the telephony market.

LCS 2005, code-named 'Vienna,' went to beta this summer. Microsoft announced it had delivered to testers the near-final 'release candidate' beta in mid-September. Microsoft is expected to launch the final release later this month.

Microsoft officials have described LCS 2005 as "a next-generation enterprise instant messaging (IM) and presence-awareness server."

But Microsoft also will use LCS 2005 as a way to gain a toehold in the voice-over-IP (VOIP) space, according to sources claiming familiarity with the company's plans.

"Microsoft's end game is to become a telephony provider and give Vonage, Verizon, etc., a run for their money," said one source close to the company, who requested anonymity. "They are going SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) in a big way. And because SIP is multi-media capable (start with voice, switch to video, conferencing, etc. in mid stream), it's a nice protocol for them."

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