Microsoft Corp has announced plans to add a new client application to its Office System suite providing desktop capabilities for real-time collaboration such as instant messaging, telephony integration and PC-based voice and video.
The new client application is code-named Istanbul, will be the preferred client for Microsoft’s Office Live Communication Server product and integrate with Microsoft Live Meeting, presenting a single interface for instant messaging, conferencing and traditional telephony.
Plans for the new product were announced by Anoop Gupta, vice president of Microsoft’s real time collaboration business group at the Von Conference and Expo in Boston, Massachusetts. The beta testing program for Istanbul is now open for interested businesses with a general release scheduled for the first half of 2005.
Microsoft also announced plans to team up with IP communications specialist Mitel Networks Corp through which the Kanata, Ontario-based Mitel will develop a new Signaling and Media Gateway to complement both Live Communications Server and Istanbul.
The new Signaling and Media Gateway will be based on the SIP (Session Initiation Protocol), XML and CSTA (Computer Supporter Telecommunications Applications) standards and will enable Microsoft’s applications to access Mitel’s IP-based call control devices and applications.