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WinInfo Daily UPDATE, October 26, 2004

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In the News

- Microsoft Preps December Launch of Live Communications Server 2005
- AOL Reverses Course, Readopts Microsoft Antispam Technology
- Firefox: We Want 10 Percent

==== In the News ====

by Paul Thurrott, [email protected]

Microsoft Preps December Launch of Live Communications Server 2005

This morning, Microsoft announced the completion of Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005, the company's Instant Messaging (IM) and presence-awareness server product. Part of the Microsoft Office System product line, Live Communications Server 2005 will ship in standard and enterprise editions in December, Microsoft said.
"The release to manufacturing of Live Communications Server 2005 marks an important milestone in delivering on our vision for extending the value of Microsoft Office System to encompass rich real-time collaboration capabilities, empowering people to work together more effectively," Corporate Vice President Anoop Gupta, who oversees Microsoft's Real-Time Collaboration Business Unit, said. "This is a powerful upgrade to our standards-based enterprise Instant Messaging platform and delivers native federation capabilities, Instant Messaging, and presence integration with the security and scalability requirements that are so critical for our enterprise customers."
Live Communications Server 2005 follows the release of Live Communications Server 2003, which millions of people access daily, Microsoft says. The new release will add federation capabilities, which will let two or more organizations share IM and presence awareness across corporate boundaries; remote user access for workers outside the corporate network; and better scalability. Live Communications Server 2005 will support up to 15,000 active IM sessions per server, a capacity increase of as much as 45 percent. The enterprise edition will add a Microsoft SQL Server-based architecture for improved reliability, scalability, and availability and the ability to pool Live Communications Server 2005 servers to support hundreds of thousands of concurrent users.
Live Communications Server 2005 Standard Edition will start at about $750, according to the company, and Live Communications Server 2005 Enterprise Edition will start at $3000. The product will also support the ability to communicate with AOL and Yahoo! IM systems; this functionality will ship in the first half of 2005 for an additional cost.

AOL Reverses Course, Readopts Microsoft Antispam Technology

After dropping support for Microsoft's Sender ID antispam technology last month, AOL announced this week that it's once again supporting the technology, thanks to some changes Microsoft recently made. The changes make Sender ID compatible with the Sender Policy Framework (SPF) antispam technology that AOL and other companies are currently testing. AOL says it will begin testing Sender ID on inbound email to its online service by the end of 2004.
"We welcome and applaud Microsoft for its efforts," an AOL statement issued today said. "The new Sender ID specification is, without a doubt, proof that the standards process can work well." Earlier, AOL and other companies interested in antispam technologies complained that Microsoft's Sender ID patent application made the technology less attractive and less viable for open-source solutions. Microsoft changed its patent application to clarify that the company is seeking to patent only a certain method for determining whether an email message is valid mail or spam. That change was enough to mollify AOL, apparently.
Microsoft also noted that it will freely license the patented technology, and that companies that implement Sender ID are free to use their own email-scanning techniques. Whether this change will be enough to persuade open-source companies to support the technology is unclear, however.

Firefox: We Want 10 Percent

The browser wars are back. Upstart Web browser maker Mozilla Foundation now expects its surging Firefox browser to command 10 percent of the Web browser market by the end of 2005. "I think we'll get to 10 percent over the next year," a Mozilla Foundation spokesperson told ZDNET this week. "We don't have 10 percent of the Web at the moment, but we have the momentum."
According to some amazing statistics that show a sudden and profound interest in alternatives to the bug-laden and insecure Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) product, the Mozilla Foundation certainly does have momentum on its side. Enthusiasts downloaded more than 3.3 million copies of the prerelease version, Firefox 0.8, and a whopping 6.5 million users downloaded Firefox 0.9 in just 3 months. More than 5 million users have downloaded the prerelease version of Firefox 1.0 (the final version is due next month) in just 1 month.
According to ZDNET UK, more than 19 percent of this month's Web traffic to its sites came from Firefox and other Mozilla-based browsers, up from 9 percent in February. Not coincidentally, IE use during that time period fell from 88 percent to 79 percent. reports similar trends. To download Firefox, visit the Mozilla Foundation Web site.

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