Microsoft Updates IM Server to Connect with Other Networks

By Matthew Hicks  |  Posted 2005-04-29 Print this article Print

Service Pack 1 of Office Live Communications Server 2005 adds support for connecting with major IM networks and for Microsoft's revamped messaging client.

Microsoft Corp. has released an update to its enterprise instant messaging and presence servers for free, a move that makes good on its promise to interoperate with the three major IM networks. The Redmond, Wash., software maker on Thursday shipped Service Pack 1 for its Office Live Communications Server 2005. One of its key features is the ability for enterprises to connect their LCS installations with the AOL Instant Messenger, Yahoo Messenger and MSN Messenger IM networks. The IM interoperability is being offered for an option called Public IM Connectivity, and its availability comes about nine months after Microsoft first announced plans to work with its IM competitors.
Click here to read about America Online Inc.s recent effort to connect AIM with enterprise IM.
With the update, Microsoft also is setting the stage for supporting its revamped real-time messaging client, formerly code-named "Istanbul." LCS (Live Communications Server) SP1 will support the client, which was recently renamed the Office Communicator 2005 and is scheduled to be available by early June. Microsoft chairman Bill Gates previewed the Communicator client and the LCS update last month. The client brings together IM and presence with telephony and video. It also will replace Windows Messenger as the preferred client for LCS. What about mobile IM? Click here to read about Microsofts plans for a mobile LCS client. Other new features in LCS SP1 focus on security, taking aim at IM worms by allowing for the blocking of URLs and filtering out IM spam, also known as "spim," Microsoft announced. The update also provides enhancements in the way enterprises can directly federate multiple instances of LCS in order to communicate with partners and other companies. LCS SP1 is available as a free upgrade for existing customers, and new customers can download a 120-day trial version. Non-English versions of the software will be available in another 60 days or so, Microsoft said. Check out eWEEK.coms for more on IM and other collaboration technologies.
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.

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