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Microsoft debuts Web-based Communicator

Software giant is distributing a beta version of its Web-based messaging software to qualified customers.

Microsoft representatives said Friday that the company has begun distributing a beta version of its Web-based Communicator messaging software to qualified customers. The company said the tool is similar to its Outlook Web Access product and provides customers with new methods for accessing corporate IM systems and integrating collaborative applications with older operating systems, among other functions.

The software giant said the launch brings it closer to fulfilling its strategy of making real-time communications and presence-sharing capabilities available to workers regardless of their location. Microsoft said previously that the interface for Communicator Web Access will closely mimic the controls the company has built into the desktop version of the messaging tools which are labeled Microsoft Office Communicator 2005.