Some time this fall, Microsoft plans to roll out the third version of its Office Live Meeting conferencing service, company officials announced at TechEd 2007 on June 5.
Expected to be dubbed Office Live Meeting 2007, the new release will include a redesigned and simpler user interface; improved training and event features; shared and local recording capabilities; two-way phone or VOIP options; integrated flash, video and audio content support; and Live Webcam video and Microsoft Roundtable 360-degree panoramic video support. Microsoft's RoundTable video camera also is slated to ship this fall.
Microsoft currently provides and will continue to provide Live Meeting as a Microsoft-hosted service. For customers who prefer their Web conferencing systems to reside on premise, Microsoft will be pushing its Office Communication Server (OCS) 2007 product, which supports conferencing as one of four workloads provided by the product. OCS 2007 is slated to ship by the end of June 2007.
Once Microsoft ships Live Meeting 2007 and OCS 2007, it will have six different conferencing products on its product list.
In addition to Live Meeting 2007 and OCS 2007, Microsoft also offers Windows Vista Meeting Space, an integrated low-end conferencing/collaboration utility that is integrated into Vista; SharedView (code-named "Tahiti"), a slimmed-down conferencing service currently in beta; and a newly introduced managed version of Microsoft's OCS product hosted by Microsoft; and a partner-hosted version of OCS.
In other "Live" Office news, Microsoft announced on June 5 that the Office Live team (not to be confused with the Office Live Meeting team) is partnering with Website Pros Inc. to provide Office Live customers with Web-site design and search-engine marketing services. For $79.95 a month (on top of customers' existing monthly Office Live subscription fees paid to Microsoft), Website Pros will design a Microsoft Office Live Web site for existing Microsoft Office Live Basics, Office Live Essentials and Office Live Premium customers.