Microsoft unveiled a new unified communications plan in San Francisco:
The driving idea behind unified communications is to enable businesses to stay connected 24 hours a day with an increasingly mobile workforce. "PC software makes it possible to see if someone is available before you send them an IM or an e-mail, what we call 'presence,' and calling someone can be as simple as clicking on their name," explained Jeff Raikes, president of the Microsoft Business Division.
Fulfilling this vision on the backend is Office Communications Server 2007 and Exchange 2007, both set for availability next year. Exchange 2007 will handle e-mail, calendaring, faxes and even voicemail. Through integration with Exchange Server, Outlook 2007 users can access e-mail and even reschedule meetings over the phone.