Microsoft Adds Real-Time Communications Server to Office System

May 30, 2003

Microsoft Corp. has announced its Microsoft Real-Time Communications Server (RTC Server) 2003 Standard Edition will add "Office" to its name, to identify it as a member of the company's Microsoft Office System of programs, servers, and services to be released later this year. The Microsoft Office Real-Time Communications Server is an instant messaging (IM) server that enables people to communicate in real time across enterprises in a manageable and more secure way than is possible with consumer-oriented services. An extensible platform as well as an IM solution, the RTC Server will allow developers to build real-time communications capabilities into their own applications. The RTC Server is a natural fit in the Microsoft Office System, which is designed to better connect people with each other, information and business processes across an organization to transform information for business impact. RTC Server makes it possible to incorporate presence, or knowledge of whether a person is online and available, into productivity applications and enterprise line-of-business applications to foster instant communication and collaboration among information workers across an enterprise. For example, when a user receives an email message in Outlook 2003, he or she can see whether the sender is online and available and initiate an instant messaging conversation with the sender from within the email. Built on protocols such as Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and SIP for Instant Messaging and Presence Leveraging Extensions (SIMPLE), the RTC Server will enable corporations to deploy and structure real-time communications tools as an integral part of their information infrastructure. The Microsoft Office Real-Time Communications Server 2003 is expected to be available in the third quarter of 2003. Licensing and pricing for RTC Server has not yet been determined.