Microsoft Debuts Collaboration Server
The software giant's Greenwich real-time collaboration software battles Lotus to become an IM standard for the enterprise.Microsoft Corp. on Thursday made available the long-awaited beta of its Greenwich real-time communication server along with a strategy designed to make Greenwich an emerging standard for embedding instant messaging and presence detection in other applications. Greenwich is being positioned as a counterweight to Lotus Softwares Sametime IM and presence server, the acknowledged leader in enterprise IM. But while Lotus, of Cambridge, Mass., is devolving Sametime into other applications as Java-based Web services, Microsoft is taking a somewhat different path. It is connecting Greenwich to other applications via APIs (application programming interfaces) rather than federating IM and presence as Web services. Greenwich is designed to replace Microsofts current Exchange IM service and in so doing, allow instant messaging to be extended into other applications via a software developers kit and APIs, which are exposed through the .Net Framework, but are not actually Web services. Microsofts Windows Messenger will be the main client for Greenwich, though users of the MSN (Microsoft Network) consumer IM client will also be able to connect to Greenwich via MSN Messenger Connect, according to Microsoft officials, in Redmond, Wash.
Via the Windows Messenger client, Greenwich will also support PC-to-phone connections and PC-to-PC voice and video connections over voice over IP, as well as data conferencing and remote assistance applications. It will also work with Microsofts TabletPC environment for shared electronic whiteboarding, Microsoft officials said.