Microsoft wants your office phone

A new communications platform from Microsoft promises to make contact easier.

On Monday, Microsoft and nine leading phone manufacturers--Asustek Computer, GN, LG-Nortel, NEC, Plantronics, Plycom, Samsung, Tatung, and Vitelix--announced the public beta program for Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 and Microsoft Office Communicator 2007. The program was announced at WinHEC, Microsoft's Windows Hardware Engineering Conference in Los Angeles. The software giant has provided the manufacturers with design specifications for the new communications architecture. Several products are nearing the end of the Microsoft qualification cycle.

Communicator allows employees to designate, through Microsoft Office, how they'd like to be contacted, seamlessly linking office phones, cell phones, and online messenger services together so that calls roam wherever you are. The Microsoft design specs released at WinHEC make it easier for customers to choose one of these phones, knowing that the qualified phone will integrate wholly with Office Communicator.

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