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Live Meeting 2007 Release To Come This Fall

Microsoft expects to have Microsoft Office Live Meeting 2007, its virtual collaboration and conferencing software, released to manufacturing later next month, with product availability sometime this fall. The company made the announcement at the TechEd Conference taking place this week in Orlando, Fla.

Besides sporting a new simplified interface, Live Meeting has been revamped on the back end to more fully integrate with Office Communication Server (OCS) 2007 and take advantage of other technologies, such as the company's upcoming Roundtable Webcam.

Users of OCS will see no difference whether they're in a conference call in OCS or in Live Meeting, as both will have the same look and feel UI, said Roger Murff, director of marketing for Microsoft's unified communications group, in a phone interview from the conference.

"The Web client will be the same client regardless of whether your IT organization was using the Live Meeting Service on the back end or is using Web conferencing through the on-premise Office Communication Server," he added. And the differences go beyond the surface, according to Murff, with OCS and Live Meeting sharing code.

Other notable features that Live Meeting will share with OCS is the ability to provide two-way phone and voice-over-IP calls during a conference call. The product supports the use of Adobe Flash and Windows Media video and audio files for rich content delivery. Live Meeting sessions can also be recorded and played back in high fidelity.

Murff said that plans are already in place to have Live Meeting incorporate some features built into its upcoming Roundtable video Webcam.

"When a speaker is talking, Live Meeting will automatically switch to who's the active speaker," he explained. Roundtable is a 360-degree panoramic video camera that Microsoft chairman Bill Gates recently announced at a conference in Carlsbad, Calif.

Finally, Live Meeting will also get enhanced security features based on Microsoft's Forefront technologies. Details weren't available at press time.

About the Author

Michael Domingo is executive editor, new media, and editor of MCPmag.com. You can contact Michael at mdomingo@1105media.com.

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