InfoWorld: Microsoft, Polycom team on collaboration products: "In the first phase of the collaboration, Microsoft and Polycom aim to ease communications within an enterprise by allowing users of Live Communications Server and the Windows Messenger Client to see the status of Polycom's IP phones, desktop and conference room conferencing products and to launch intra-company conferences from within Windows Messenger.
To enable this first link, Polycom plans to deliver software upgrades for its Media Gateway Controller and WebOffice product in the fourth quarter. The updates will likely be available at no charge for Polycom users with a service contract, but pricing has not officially been set yet, a Polycom spokesman said.
The second phase of the partnership, slated for next year, will include updates from Microsoft and Polycom and will add federation, allowing users to set up conferences with users outside their own corporate networks. The products will also provide a link to Microsoft's Office Live Meeting Web conferencing service.
In the third phase, planned for 2006, Microsoft and Polycom plan to add control of Polycom products and Live Communications Server capabilities to other applications, including the Microsoft Outlook e-mail client and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and ERP (Enterprise Resource Management) products, the companies said.
Microsoft already has partners including Radvision Corp. and First Virtual Communications Inc. whose products offer capabilities similar to the combination of Live Communications Server and Polycom's products, a company spokesman said. However, these companies don't have the same reach as Polycom, he said."