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Microsoft Offers Unified Communications Roadmap

As promised, Microsoft later Monday will roll out its "unified communications" roadmap including the next versions of Live Communications Server and Live Meeting.

The new Communications Server 2007 loses the "Live" moniker which is now relegated to hosted consumer- and small-business oriented services a la Windows Live and Office Live.

The new Communications Server will add Web conferencing to the instant messaging and presence capabilities of the current version, and the subscription-based Live Meeting web conferencing service, will be available in the second calendar quarter of 2007, said Eric Swift, senior director of product management for the company's Unified Communications Group, organized earlier this year.

Microsoft will also offer a commercial version of RingCam, its in-the-round videoconferencing camera. It will be known as Office RoundTable 2007.

Microsoft said Hewlett-Packard will offer systems integration and hardware support for the upcoming portfolio. Motorola will pledge handheld devices and networking gear to support Communicator Mobile, the latest handheld mail client.

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