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Microsoft logs on to secure corporate IM

Microsoft plans to release in December new software designed to secure instant messaging and other communications within big companies.

The Redmond, Wash., company said Tuesday that its Live Communications Server 2005 software will let companies encrypt their instant-messaging communications internally and link IM systems between companies so that suppliers and other business partners can share secure IM connections. Additionally, Live Communications Server, or LCS, will include an option for letting companies link to public instant-messaging networks from Microsoft, America Online and Yahoo, so that employees can chat with users on the Big Three IM services.

The extra-cost option won't be available until the first half of next year, however. LCS has become a cornerstone of Microsoft's efforts to expand its Office line beyond a mere collection of productivity applications. By integrating LCS into Office, Microsoft hopes to imbue a variety of applications--especially its Outlook e-mail software--with "presence," or the ability to intelligently route communications based on a worker's location or availability.

News source: C|Net News.com

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