Jupiter Research's Joe Wilcox comments on Microsoft's unified messaging strategy:

Microsoft's upgrade strategy follows down two fairly consistent tracks: Increase the number of product versions or breakout features, extend them and create a Product B or C that tightly integrates back to original A1 or one of its new versions.

Microsoft's Unified Messaging strategy follows both tracks, but a bit more of the former. Office Live Communications Server and Office Live Communicator derive their lineage from Exchange Server. To get the capabilities that Microsoft talks about, at the least, customers would need to buy Windows Server 2003 R2, Exchange Server 2007 and Office Live Communications Server 2007, plus client-access licenses. In reality, to really get the unified messaging experience, businesses also would want Office 2007, SharePoint Portal Server 2007, Office Roundtable and Microsoft Speech Server 2007. That's a heap of an investment.
Actually, Joe, you left out some of the underlying plumbing -- SQL Server for SharePoint storage and for logging in Live Communications Server, a number of different servers for the different Exchange 2007 "roles", etc.  And both base CALs and Enterprise CALs and super-duper CALs for all of this...

Link: Microsoft Monitor: Decoupled and Unified >

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