Microsoft set to launch real-time server

Microsoft on Thursday plans to announce that its Greenwich software will be renamed Microsoft Real Time Communications Server 2003, which it plans to roll out the first half of the third quarter.

The new moniker describes the company's intent to provide real-time communications functions for the enterprise. As previously reported, the initial product will be an updated, secure version of the company's Windows Messenger instant messaging software designed for enterprises. IM is the foundation for Microsoft's vision of selling software that manages a company's communications functions.

"We're taking instant messaging as the first enterprise solution here," said Ed Simnett, lead product manager for Microsoft's real-time collaboration group. "Forming the cornerstone of that is...the idea that it really changes the way information workers do their jobs by seeing the presence of their co-workers."

Microsoft has said that future versions of the software will offer Internet phone calling, video conferencing and e-mail. The company believes that the Real Time Communications Server can manage all of these features for companies, while allowing developers to write software to run on top of Microsoft's product.

Real Time Communications Server will run on Windows Server 2003, Microsoft's biggest product launch this year, slated for April 24.

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