Microsoft Looks Towards Broader
IM Interoperability"> Presence and IM, though, wont reach their full potential until there is broad interoperability, so enterprises can connect both to one another and with the major consumer IM networks from Microsofts MSN, America Online Inc. and Yahoo Inc., Singh Pall said. "We are probably one of the few industries that can sell communications solutions and not allow you to talk to everybody," Singh Pall told attendees. "We have to do better."Microsoft does have a separate service called MSN Messenger Connect for Enterprises that allows Live Communications Server to connect with MSN Messenger users, but it doesnt connect with any other broad IM networks.Singh Pall said interoperability is a topic in 80 percent of his discussions with customers and that Microsoft is committed to work with AOL and Yahoo. He wouldnt discuss whether any discussions have been held. Why is Microsoft mum on third-party IM licenses? More immediately, Microsoft by the middle of 2004 plans to enable enterprise-to-enterprise interoperability for Live Communications Server, Singh Pall said. The server product would essentially play the role of an edge proxy server to federate presence and allow for management different rights and privileges, Simnett said. Also coming soon will be integration between Microsofts Live Meeting 2003 Web conferencing service and Live Communications Server so that conferences can be initiated from Windows Messenger, Simnett said. Live Meeting 2003, launched last month, came out of Microsofts acquisition of PlaceWare Inc. Even while the current Live Communications Server integrates with Office, it still requires the separate launching of the Windows Messenger client to conduct an IM session. Further out, Microsoft is planning to build many of the IM capabilities directly into Office applications so users can conduct real-time communications without moving to another client, Singh Pall said. "Were moving to scenarios where all devices and networks are coming together," he said. Discuss this in the eWEEK forum.