Microsoft shares more details on its next version of its PBX alternative, OCS 14

Microsoft shares more details on its next version of its PBX alternative, OCS 14

Summary: Microsoft still isn't releasing new code or a public beta of its next version of Office Communications Server, known as OCS 14, this week at its TechEd conference. But officials are sharing a few more bits of information on features.

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Microsoft still isn't releasing new code or a public beta of its next version of Office Communications Server, known as OCS 14, this week at its TechEd conference. But officials are sharing a few more bits of information on features.

OCS -- Microsoft's all-in-one instant messaging/VOIP/conferencing product expected to be christened OCS 2010 (or maybe 2011 if it ships late this year) -- is still on track to ship before the end of calendar 2010, company officials confirmed at TechEd this week. The product is currently in private testing among selected Technology Adoption Partners (TAPs). Microsoft is touting OCS 14 as its first "enterprise voice" ready version of OCS (despite the fact that several of its partners already say they are providing enterprise voice hosting via OCS 2007.

At TechEd this week, Microsoft officials said Live Meeting, Microsoft's audio/video conferencing product, is being rolled into Communicator 14, the client for OCS. There also will be a Silverlight-based Web client for OCS 14 for those who don't have Communicator installed, as noted on the independent "Inside OCS" blog.

The OCS team still isn't disclosing a timetable for when it will make available in the cloud OCS 14 functionality. I've heard this won't happen until 2011, and that it will be phased in first for dedicated (i.e., private cloud) customers, and later for standard (public cloud) ones. Microsoft offers Office Communications as a standalone Microsoft-hosted product and also sells it as part of its Business Productivity Online (BPOS) suite.  OCS officials also declined to provide any new details on their mobile strategy and how/when/if there will be a dedicated OCS client for Windows Phone 7 devices.

The team did say that OCS 14 will be able to federate with Windows Live Messenger Wave 4, in terms of both audio and video, officials said this week. (Microsoft still isn't sharing whether the product will federate with other instant-messaging products from third-party vendors, but it's sounding unlikely that it will federate completely audio/video-wise with anything but Live Messenger.)

The Inside OCS blog lists a few more features that the Softies are sharing about OCS 14 this week, including how it will support virtualization for various server roles.

The Redmondians said this week that 74,000 Microsoft users currently run OCS and are no longer connected to a PBX system.

Last fall, Microsoft offered selected partners and customers a roadmap covering its future OCS rollout plans. While some of these details and dates may now have gone by the wayside, here are a few more details as to what the Softies were promising around OCS 14 as of November 2009:

(click on image above to enlarge)

(click on image above to enlarge)

Anyone out there using on-premises and/or hosted OCS? What do you want to see Microsoft add to the upcoming release?

Topics: Microsoft, Browser, Collaboration, Networking, Software, Telcos, Unified Comms, Social Enterprise

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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6 comments
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  • Hopefully worth the wait

    Great! I'm very eager to implement some of these conferencing and integration features (link below) along side our Exchange 2010 UM deployment we've just completed. We've held off on the OCS 2007 R2 deployment for this new version.

    http://www.microsoft.com/communicationsserver/cs14/en/us/new-features.aspx
    roryschmitz
    • RE: Microsoft shares more details on its next version of its PBX alternativ

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      cstrathmore
  • Windows Server, OCS, ES, and Asterisk for Unified Communication

    Hmm... I'd like to wait until the next version of Windows Server (well, Small Business Server) operating system comes into beta. That way, I can try out a free trial of OCS 2010 and Exchange Server 2010.

    ;)

    Oh, yes. I do have Ubuntu Server 10.04 and Asterisk 1.6.2.8. I wonder if I can integrate OCS and ES (Exchange Server) with Asterisk 1.8 when it gets released to public. :)

    I know that OCS, Exchange Server, and Asterisk is overkill for home users, but hey! I'd love to have cutting-edge products and put some business features to use for home. :)

    I do have Windows Web Server 2008 (non-commercial use as I got it from MSDN-AA as I'm a Valencia Community College student but will be transferring back to Tallahassee Community College so I can get into the Computer Gaming Program (Game Program and Design Logic A.S. Degree that Valencia does not have). But I don't think Windows Web Server 2008 will work with Microsoft Exchange. I run WWS 2008 in a VirtualBox VM.
    Grayson Peddie
  • RE: Microsoft shares more details on its next version of its PBX alternative, OCS 14

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    techiegz@...
  • RE: Microsoft shares more details on its next version of its PBX alternative, OCS 14

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