• United States

Sweating in their boots

Jul 23, 20031 min
Data Center

With Microsoft bearing down on a ship date for it Real-Time Collaboration server, many in the room here must be a little nervous. The server, working with Microsoft’s Messenger instant messaging client, gives users the ability to launch audio and web conferences via the Messenger interface. Part of this comes out of the Placeware acquisition from earlier this year. They want to build the ecosystem and establish “standards” to make various vendor products to work with their offering. They want a user to be able to launch a Web conference from whatever application they happen to be working in, says Dustin Grosse, a former marketing VP at Placeware and now working in Redmond.

Vendors such as Polycom and FVC are both developing similar functionality for launching meetings. If Microsoft builds this into Windows, why use their products? Polycom at least has its hardware divisions to help keep them afloat, but a software-only company could be in trouble if Microsoft jumps in with both feet. The one saving grace seems to be that Microsoft isn’t really support video at this point, where most of the vendors here do.