Microsoft Sets December Release for Next-Gen Enterprise IM Server

By Matthew Hicks  |  Posted 2004-10-26 Print this article Print

Office Live Communications Server 2005, the next version of Microsoft's IM and presence server, will support more users, clustering and failover.

The next version of Microsoft Corp.s enterprise instant messaging and presence server will be available on Dec. 1, the company said late on Monday. With the release of its Office Live Communications Server 2005, Microsoft also is adding an enterprise edition along with its standard version. While the basic functionality is available in both editions, the enterprise option supports more users, provides load balancing and server clustering, and includes more management features, said Dennis Karlinsky, the lead product manager for LCS.
As reported earlier, new features in LCS 2005 include federation, so an enterprise can connect its IM and presence with other organizations running LCS 2005, and the ability for remote user to connect without a VPN (virtual private network).
LCS 2005, released to manufacturing on Friday and formerly code-named Vienna, is the successor to LCS 2003, which was released about a year ago. Beyond setting a release date, Microsoft is preparing new directions for the product. It is working to connect LCS 2005 with the leading IM networks, specifically AOL Instant Messenger, Yahoo Messenger and MSN Messenger. Microsoft expects to begin testing the integration by the end of the year and to make it available as an additional license early next year, Karlinsky said. Click here to read more about the future of IM interoperability. Microsoft last week announced a new client, code-named Istanbul, that will incorporate VOIP (voice over IP) capabilities. Currently, LCS runs with the Windows Messenger 5.1 client. Istanbul is slated for availability in the first half of 2005. The introduction of an enterprise edition of LCS also could lay the foundation for adoption among service providers and federation clearinghouses attempting to interconnect organizations on a wide scale, Karlinsky said. While the standard edition supports as many as 15,000 active users per server, the enterprise edition can support as many as 20,000 per server. The enterprise version can be extended to 100,000 users by clustering five servers, Karlinsky said. Karlinsky said that Microsoft expects in the next few months to make further announcements about hosting companies and clearinghouses installing LCS 2005. The enterprise edition also requires a full SQL Server database, while the standard version includes a lightweight, embedded version of SQL Server. LCS 2005 will be made available through retail and volume licensing channels, and evaluation versions will be available in late November 2004. Volume pricing for LCS 2005 starts at $750 per server for the standard edition and $3,000 per server for the enterprise edition, Karlinsky said. Check out eWEEK.coms Messaging & Collaboration Center at for more on IM and other collaboration technologies.

Be sure to add our messaging and collaboration news feed to your RSS newsreader or My Yahoo page

Matthew Hicks As an online reporter for, Matt Hicks covers the fast-changing developments in Internet technologies. His coverage includes the growing field of Web conferencing software and services. With eight years as a business and technology journalist, Matt has gained insight into the market strategies of IT vendors as well as the needs of enterprise IT managers. He joined Ziff Davis in 1999 as a staff writer for the former Strategies section of eWEEK, where he wrote in-depth features about corporate strategies for e-business and enterprise software. In 2002, he moved to the News department at the magazine as a senior writer specializing in coverage of database software and enterprise networking. Later that year Matt started a yearlong fellowship in Washington, DC, after being awarded an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship for Journalist. As a fellow, he spent nine months working on policy issues, including technology policy, in for a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He rejoined Ziff Davis in August 2003 as a reporter dedicated to online coverage for Along with Web conferencing, he follows search engines, Web browsers, speech technology and the Internet domain-naming system.

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel