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.
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.
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.