Microsoft's Changing View of Communications Software

Posted by: Peter Burrows on June 25, 2009

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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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.

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