Microsoft is planning to ship in February the first public beta of Office Communications Server 2007, which is key to the company's voice and unified messaging strategy. The company also plans to ship next month a public beta of Office Communicator 2007, the client software for OCS 2007, sources say.
The Microsoft Unified Communications & RTC User Group in the United Kingdom has also said in a recent blog posting that betas for Office Communicator and OCS 2007 would be available in February.
Microsoft officials would not comment on the beta release cycle, but an announcement in the next few weeks would come at a strategic time, as longtime Microsoft rival IBM/Lotus gears up for its annual Lotusphere conference the week of Jan. 22.
Microsoft began a private beta of OCS 2007 on Dec. 11 with 2,500 IT professionals. The company also hosted a Technology Adoption Program Summit that same week for 250 IT representatives from 100 companies.