Microsoft to test new IM server

Microsoft is expected to reveal plans Tuesday for the first major update of its corporate instant-messaging server.

The software giant will begin accepting applications for a limited beta test of Live Communications Server 2005, with the beta version to arrive in June or July and a final release in the fourth quarter of this year. Microsoft introduced Live Communications Server last year as part of a broad strategy to turn instant messaging into a corporate IT function. Today, most workplace IM activity happens over public services run by Yahoo, America Online and Microsoft's MSN, giving corporate IT managers little control over privacy or security.

Microsoft and competitors such as IBM's Lotus divisionhope to bring IM in-house, with corporations running dedicated servers for chat and other real-time communications. Besides improved security, such an in-house approach would let companies reuse information IM clients collect on employee availability. Such information, collectively referred to as "presence," can allow workers to more effectively choose communication vehicles.

News source: C|Net

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