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Microsoft Releases RC1 of the Exchange 2000 Conference Server

Written By: P. Hayes
Published On: March 8 2000

Event Summary

SAN FRANCISCO - Feb. 22, 2000 - Microsoft Corp. announced Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server, the newest member of the Exchange 2000 product line, as well as the first release candidate of Exchange 2000. Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server enables knowledge workers to collaborate with anyone, anywhere by providing data, video and voice conferencing across intranets and the Internet. It also provides integrated scheduling and management services to help maximize network bandwidth and availability.

The Exchange 2000 product line is the reliable, scalable and easy-to-manage platform for messaging and collaboration that brings knowledge workers and information together. A cost-effective platform for "meetings without walls," Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server reduces travel costs, improves productivity and enables any time, anywhere collaboration for knowledge workers. (Source: Microsoft)

Market Impact

The Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conference server is now Release Candidate One (RC1) and is available for deployment with the released version of the Windows 2000 operating system. The conferencing component of the server is an integrated add-on from Latitude Communications in California, a video teleconferencing software producer. The demand for video conferencing today is growing and is only limited by bandwidth and hardware. As bandwidth grows and video-conferencing hardware, such as web cams, becomes more inexpensive the "big bang" of video conferencing will take place.

Microsoft is certainly not the first software manufacturer to produce a video teleconferencing server to market. White Pine Software of Nashua, New Hampshire has developed their Meeting Point server into a first class conference server. White Pine's sales have increased significantly, indicating that they will give Microsoft's Conference Server component some fierce competition. However, the White Pine product will be locked into Microsoft's Exchange messaging server, negating the need to buy 3rd party video conferencing software for most corporations.

User Recommendations

The need for video conferencing is not overwhelming at the present time. Microsoft's conference server component is a pleasant addition, but will not sway sales one way or the other. Mass video conferencing is a solid 2-3 years out, but Microsoft is taking the correct steps to secure a foothold in the escalating conferencing arena.

 
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