In a move designed to beef up its e-mail add-on services, Microsoft announced plans to deliver a new conferencing server that will run on Exchange 2000 later this year.
The conferencing server, codenamed Jasper, will allow users to schedule and participate in video, voice and data conferences over a WAN or LAN or the Internet. From a specially allocated Web address, users will be able to share whiteboards and desktop applications from a standard browser. The server adds to Microsoft's free point-to-point conferencing tool, NetMeeting.
Microsoft plans to ship the conference server along with Exchange 2000 around the middle of the year. The new server requires Exchange 2000 for security, user authentication and log-in and for access to Microsoft's global directory, Active Directory. However, unlike Exchange 2000, the conferencing server isn't integrated with Active Directory and therefore requires separate user identification, Rasmus noted. Microsoft officials said the conference server could handle 10,000 concurrent users.