VoiceCon: Microsoft Predicts Era Of 'Connected Communications' With UC Server


Communications Server 14, and products like it, will build on Microsoft chairman Bill Gates' 2007 prediction that software would come to dominate unified communications and collaboration tools of the future, said Gurdeep Signh Pall, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Office Communications Group, in the keynote.

In the next three years, Pall suggested, more than half of all VoIP calls will incorporate more than voice, and 75 percent of new business applications will include embedded UC tools. Microsoft leads the way, he insisted, saying that 70 percent of Fortune 100 companies now use Microsoft Office Communications Server.

Server "14," described in quotations because the "14" is a code-name, Pall said, is expected to be called Office Communications Sever 2010 upon final release. It uses an open platform to upgrade what customers already have for UC architecture, and provides full support for Microsoft Office, SharePoint and Exchange.

Among new features are social networking-flavored functions such as location awareness tools that help users find out if colleagues are available, and a skill search feature that allows users to search for colleagues based on their expertise.

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"When you are ready to move to a rationalized communications structure, it will have all you need," Pall said. "When you are ready to turn the light s off your PBX, this will be there waiting for you."