Microsoft updates intranets solution

Microsoft Corp. on Monday rolled out an updated version of its Microsoft Solution for Intranets (MSI) that features improved collaboration by leveraging its technical relationship with Groove Networks Inc.

Version 1.5 of the software now includes Microsoft's Producer, which helps users in publishing multimedia put PowerPoint slides to the Web as well as tighter integration with the company's Content Management Server 2002, which contains the .Net Framework.

The new product also contains patterns and practices documentation which users need to piece together a collaborative solution using Microsoft's SharePoint Portal Server, SharePoint Team Services, Office XP, SQL Server, Windows 2000, and Windows Media Technologies. The package also contains the necessary "glue code" that makes the integration of these products possible, a company spokesman said.

Within the next month both Microsoft and Groove will deliver Version 1.5 of the Groove Workspace for MSI. The new offering will allow users to more easily take SharePoint Team Services Web sites offline as well as across a user's firewall and works to synchronize information automatically.

The client-based Groove Workspace for MSI works not only with desktop and laptop systems but Tablet PCs as well, a company spokesman said. The product will be available from Groove's direct sales force.

When users disconnect from the network they can continue working with SharePoint Team Services Web sites to carry out a range of tasks including updating documents, adding items or events to calendars, or participating in discussions.

Company officials said that for those users who need their group workspaces to work outside their intranets, Groove is adding integration with SharePoint Team services to Version 2.5 of Groove, which should be available over the next month.

Microsoft officials said the company has sold about 10 million seats for SharePoint Server, about half of which has been sold with MSI.

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