Microsoft announces Communications Server "14"

Microsoft said on Wednesday that it will be making the next version of its unified communications software, code-named Communications Server "14", available in the second half of 2010.

Gurdeep Singh Pall, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Unified Communications Group, took the stage at the VoiceCon 2010 conference in Orlando to demonstrate the new software. Office Communications Server is used at large businesses and corporations for employee internal instant messaging. It's the business version of Microsoft's popular Windows Live Messenger. New improvements include:

  • Location services integration - users location can be auto detected from the subnet where the user is wired or the nearest wireless access point. Users can also set custom locations.
  • Activity feeds - Users can update their status and have the status displayed in the contact list.
  • Dial Pad - Option to use dial pad interface for calls. Users can dial by name or click to call others from their contact lists. Voicemail messages are also available from the dialing tab.
  • Voice Mail improvements - Voice mail is now recorded and transcribed to text in real time.
  • Device Selection - Users can select their audio device directly from the Microsoft Communicator interface
  • Simultaneous Ring - Users can forward inbound calls to specific numbers, straight to voice mail or ring at multiple numbers simultaneously.
  • Contextual calls in real time - Users can enter a subject immedialy before placing a call allowing recipients to see the call subject
  • Contact card changes- Newly designed contact card with just the basics similar to Outlook 2010 and an extended card to display full information from Active Directory.

Microsoft confirmed Office Communications Server (OCS) has grown by double digits every year for the last three years and is one of the fastest growing servers at Microsoft. Today, more than 70% of the Fortune 100 companies are using OCS internally.

"We see a future where communications is more open, costs less, and is easier to use," said Gurdeep Singh Pall. "Three years from now, new applications written by corporate developers, system integrators and software vendors will be communications-enabled by default. We predict that three out of every four new business applications will include embedded communications."

Microsoft did not confirm exactly when Office Communications Server "14" will be available apart from that it will be released in the second half of 2010.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Google's Sergey Brin disappointed with Microsoft's China stance

Next Story

Firefox mobile beta for Android coming in 2010

18 Comments

Sebianoti said,
So Windows Live messenger is going to be scraped?

No, this is a different product for enterprise.

qdave said,
No, these 2 are not related.
OC is for enterprise/business use only.

What are the major differences? More integration with business products such as SharePoint/ Exchange/ BizTalk/ something else?

When I first looking at the screenshot, I thought it was Live Messenger with more features.

GraphiteCube said,

What are the major differences? More integration with business products such as SharePoint/ Exchange/ BizTalk/ something else?

When I first looking at the screenshot, I thought it was Live Messenger with more features.

maybe you should read the article and wouldn't think that. It has office written all over it... Obviously not microsoft's direction for windows live messenger.

It's a commercial (IE Business) version of messenger, you install it with your Exchange server on your corporate domain. Not used for individuals.

RuuddieBoy said,
Hmm, is this all? Because this isn't nearly as spectactular as I hoped. I was hoping for way more PBX features...

Same here...

Communications server is actually the original communications server and speech server. You can install it with exchange, but you don't have to. We use it as a standalone to create IVR inbound and outbound applications. While it is mostly an enterprise thing, it wouldn't cost you that much to set it up at your house to auto dial the hell out of someone or a group of people. You can also find companies that host it and provide their services.

If you hook it up to exchange and everything, you can have a unified environment and then the speech server part can read emails and all that stuff on calls.

Commenting is disabled on this article.