Microsoft OCS R2 Announcement: Key Points

On February 3, Microsoft announced the general availability of Office Communications Server R2. OCS provides instant messaging, presence, interactive voice (1-1 and conferencing), Web conferencing, and desktop sharing.

In summary:

  • Various new features were announced, many of interest but none earth-shattering. The key thing is that Microsoft is continuing to develop OCS into a robust and well-rounded product. This is a multiyear endeavor. For details on the new features, see the press release.
  • 30 business partners were announced. OCS now has a rich and valuable ecosystem.
  • Microsoft spent much time reviewing OCS benefits and presenting user case studies.

The launch event was, interestingly, a purely virtual affair. The launch Web site lets you conduct a virtual stroll through a variety of presentations and supporting brochures, from Microsoft and its business partners. This is the first time Microsoft held a virtual launch event. It was nicely done and allows Microsoft and its partners to reuse the presentations and materials. Your curmudgeonly correspondent notes that OCS was not used; no doubt it will be in such events before too long.

David Ferris

One Comment

  1. Nick Shelness
    Posted February 14, 2009 at 11:12 AM | Permalink

    Previous versions of OCS lacked support for multi-point (>2) IP voice and IP video calls. This left OCS at a considerable disadvantage to IBM’s Lotus Sametime, which has supported multi-point IP voice and IP video calling for many years now. So, I would argue that its addition is a “big deal”.

    As an aside, OCS lack of multi-point (>2) calling capabilities stemmed from their selection of IETF SIP, which was a relatively new protocol and which for many years lacked a standards-based multi-point (>2) control facility, as opposed to IBM’s selection of the more mature ITU H.323, which possessed a standards-based multi-point (>2) call control facility.

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