Microsoft unveils unified comms portfolio

Bill Gates finally launched Microsoft's new generation enterprise communications system Tuesday, promising to integrate video, voice and presence into the desktop.

The unified comms product suite includes a communications server that delivers VoIP and video, client software for desktop voice and other apps, and conferencing and collaboration solutions.

Microsoft's enterprise comms hardware partner Nortel said it would integrate its IP-PBX feature set with the Microsoft communications server. It also announced a new IP-PBX developed with LG.

Other partners include Ericsson, which has built a mobile gateway, and Mitel, which has created a VoIP call management product for SMEs.

The new solutions pitch Microsoft and Nortel directly against IP networking and CPE rivals Cisco and Avaya as well as against carriers providing enterprise managed services.

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