Microsoft is stepping up its efforts to get more developers to build products on top of its unified-communications technology.
Microsoft has been assembling its various programming interfaces and software-development kits (SDKs) for the elements that comprise its Office Communications Server (OCS) 2007 product. On November 30, Microsoft announced a new unified-communications developer portal, where it will provide access to all of these APIs, SDKs and related documentation.
As it has done with its Dynamics ERP and CRM platforms, Microsoft is encouraging developers to license and embed chunks of Microsoft's core code into their products and build on top of them.
So far, Microsoft hasn't talked specifics about new tools it may release for developing VOIP, PBX, unified-inbox and other similar unified-communications applications. The company also hasn't discussed how/if it is encouraging partners to build new unified-communications services, not just software/hardware.
In a Q&A document on its press site, General Manager of Microsoft's Office Communications Platform & Solutions Group Kirt Dibique hints about what's coming next year:
"Going forward, we’re focused on delivering even more powerful APIs based on .Net and Web Services supported by easy-to-use, familiar and integrated tools. You’ll be hearing more from us at the 2008 Office Developers Conference in February."