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Microsoft plans to include APIs for writing advanced instant-messaging applications in the upcoming Windows.Net Server and may build a separate real-time collaboration server to manage them.
Two application program interfaces and an updated TCP/IP protocol are scheduled to appear in beta 3 of Windows.Net Server, which is due in November. By including these new elements, Microsoft hopes to make Windows more appealing to IT departments building real-time communications applications. "We're seeing a shift from collaboration being file-sharing on a server's network drive," VP Cliff Reeves says.
Microsoft's MSN Messenger and Exchange Instant Messaging use a common client, but Microsoft says applications built with the new APIs would be encrypted for security and allow for more-sophisticated types of file transfer. The real-time collaboration server under development would let IT departments secure and manage instant-messaging applications built with the Windows Messenger client in Windows XP, which allows use of audio and videoconferencing. Microsoft hasn't decided whether to include that server in Windows or sell it separately.
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