Both Seattle newspapers covered Microsoft's announcement yesterday.

From the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, "Microsoft: Hold the phone -- and stay connected":

Competitors are watching.

"I would never want to underestimate Microsoft's ability to generate customer interest in their offerings, but we believe we have a number of advantages that make us unique to the environment," said Ed Brill, the executive who oversees worldwide collaboration sales for IBM's Lotus unit.

Among other things, he pointed out that Lotus Web Conferencing can work within a corporate network, using an internal company server, in addition to working over the Internet. Microsoft's Live Meeting program is offered only as a hosted service over the Internet, for now.

At the same time, the Lotus instant messaging program can be used inside a variety of programs, not only from IBM but from other companies.
and from the Seattle Times, "Workers' presence known with software":
An IBM executive said the presence technology is interesting but otherwise Microsoft showed little in new technology.

"A lot of what Microsoft is talking about now is really catch-up -- it's things we've been doing with Lotus messaging and Web conferencing since 1998," said Ed Brill, a Lotus business-unit sales executive based in Chicago.

Brill said about half of his customers are using instant-messaging products, especially financial companies such as J.P. Morgan. Some are starting to ask about integrated communications systems, but the technology is still in its early days, with fewer than 10 percent having installed them, he said.
The interview with Todd Bishop from the P-I was fun.  When we started, I said, "I read your blog"....he said I was the first person he'd ever interviewed who said that.  It really seemed to surprise him!

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