Microsoft's Changing View of Communications Software
In a story we ran this morning, Network World’s John Fontana points out that Nortel’s liquidation of assets could threaten it’s two-year-old partnership with Microsoft to sell so-called “unified communications”—software that lets corporate workers easily reach other, whether through phone, email, instant messages, video conferencing, etc. But that may a relatively small change in Microsoft’s strategy on that front. I say this because in reporting my story this week about Microsoft’s Business Division, I learned that OCS will be thrown in for free in certain versions of the upcoming Office 2010, due out by the middle of next year. As I explain in the story, this release is very much about collaboration. It makes sense to have that small UC business (maybe $1 billion in sales) serve the far larger Office business—especially since I’m not sure Microsoft has as strong a stand-alone UC story as networking king Cisco Systems does.
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