Intel, MS swap conferencing tools

Intel and Microsoft are to swap Internet technology for multimedia voice, videoconferencing and data conferencing in a bid to boost the nascent User Location Service (ULS) open standard.

The PC industry behemoths say the agreement will make ULS a unified platform for developers of multimedia conferencing products and services.

Microsoft gets to license the H.323 (audio/video conferencing), RSVP (bandwidth allocation) and Real-time Transfer Protocol standards that are part of Intel's ProShare videoconferencing product family. Intel gets access to Microsoft's T.120 data conferencing implementation, ActiveX technology and NetMeeting conferencing application that are part of Internet Explorer. Intel and Microsoft agreed to support the ULS standard in March.

"This announcement means multimedia conferencing on the Internet will be more viable, allowing users to blend video, audio and data and make better use of bandwidth," said Steve Roberts, marketing manager for the Internet and communications group at Intel Europe. "I think we'll start to see products that take advantage of these standards fairly soon."

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