Sunday, October 24, 2021

Microsoft Ties ‘Greenwich’ to Office

Just a little over a month after Microsoft dished up
the official designation of its “Greenwich” Real-Time Communications
Server, the software titan Tuesday altered the branding to tie it more
closely with its Office System line of products.

Microsoft said its Microsoft Real-Time Communications Server (RTC Server)
2003 Standard Edition will now be known as the Microsoft Office RTC Server
2003.

“People are rapidly adopting text instant messaging for day-to-day business
use, but are currently limited to discrete consumer-oriented services,”
said Anoop Gupta, corporate vice president of the Real-Time Collaboration
Business Unit at Microsoft. “With RTC Server deployed with other Microsoft
Office System products, such as Outlook 2003 or SharePoint Portal Server
2003, information workers will be able to send instant messages to
colleagues from within the productivity applications they use every day.”

Still slated for release in third quarter 2003, RTC Server is intended to
provide secure, enterprise instant messaging and presence — the ability to
detect whether a user is online and available. It is also geared to be a
platform for emerging communications technologies: Internet telephony,
application sharing, and video conferencing.

The RTC Server is built on the Session Initiation Protocol , or
SIP, a technology designed to foster communication streams in a variety of
different modes, ranging from instant messaging to VoIP .

When RTC Server ships, Microsoft plans to offer APIs for syndicating
presence information as a free add-on for Windows Server 2003, allowing
ISVs and enterprises to embed RTC Server-based presence in Web pages and to
create new applications based on the technology.

But Tuesday’s decision to change the product’s moniker is an indicator that
Microsoft intends to play up its ties to Office. The company noted that RTC
Server’s presence capabilities will allow a user who receives an email in
Outlook 2003 to see whether the sender is online and available. If so, the
user will be able to initiate an instant messaging conversation from within
Outlook. Microsoft is also pointing to the power of integrating its Office
SharePoint Portal Server 2003 with RTC Server, allowing information workers
working in a portal to see the presence of teammates and initiate instant
collaboration sessions in the portal environment.

Together, SharePoint Portal Server, SharePoint Services and RTC Server will
provide site-based collaboration that’s tied into Office 2003’s core
applications — Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, and Outlook — while also
offering up embedded IM and alerting.

A user can register peers’ IM handles in the Outlook Contact List, and
special field in Word, Excel, and the other applications will reflect
colleagues’ availability, with each application capable of spawning an IM
session.

The company said it has not yet determined licensing and pricing for RTC
Server.

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