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Microsoft Widens Testing Of Live Communications Server Beta

Microsoft Tuesday opened up the beta program for its next release of Live Communications Server, now known as LCS 2005.

The beta software is expected to be available in June or July and Microsoft is expecting as many as a thousand customers to sign on, a spokesman said.

The offering, code-named Vienna, will beef up federation among dispersed LCS servers and bulk up scalability, the spokesman said. Final software is expected in the fourth quarter.

LCS 2005, like its predecessor, will offer presence-awareness, instant messaging and support for standards such as the Simple Initiation Protocol (SIP) and SIP Instant Messaging and Presence Leveraging Extensions (SIMPLE), the company said.

Solution providers said the current LCS 2003 gets a bit "complex" when they try to stretch it across organizations and locations. The new offering should make it easier for them to set up realtime communication links between their customers, their customers and their partners, and suppliers without having to build a VPN, according to Microsoft.

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