Services & Software

Microsoft, Polycom work on collaboration apps

Companies to create real-time, rich-media collaboration for Windows Messenger users and later for Office Live Meeting users.

Microsoft plans to integrate collaboration products from Polycom with its own Web-conferencing software, the companies said Tuesday.

The integration is designed to create real-time, rich-media collaboration for Windows Messenger users, Microsoft said. The first offering is set for release late this year. Later, voice and video functions will be added to Microsoft Office Live Meeting.

Pleasanton, Calif.-based Polycom makes collaboration software for video, voice, data and Web conferencing.

The initial offering will combine Microsoft's Office Live Communications Server and Windows Messenger with Polycom's ViewStation EX, FX and VSX desktop and group video conference systems; SoundPoint and SoundStation IP handsets and conference phones; MGC voice and video bridges; and the WebOffice conference portal.

Microsoft has been trying to grab a bigger chunk of the conferencing market since it acquired PlaceWare last year.

Microsoft and Polycom are also focusing on a Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) strategy to combine video with voice, instant messaging, applications, business processes, Web services and Web collaboration.