Organizations using Office Communications Server 2007 (OCS 2007) have a powerful instant messaging tool with Office Communicator and Communicator Mobile. Federation allows different organizations running OCS to link up so that the users in each entity can see each other’s presence and communicate seamlessly.
As it turns out, not every organization is running OCS 2007. I know, right? There are even a vast number of small and medium businesses with no enterprise instant messaging solution. Go figure. Many organizations rely on free IM options- AIM (AOL Instant Messenger), Windows Live Messenger, Google Talk, etc.
Microsoft had two announcements this week that change the landscape for instant messaging with OCS 2007. First, it released the XMPP gateway for OCS R2. The new gateway expands the options for IM by enabling connectivity to systems such as Google Talk and Jabber.
The second announcement was that connectivity with AOL is now included in the licensing price, along with Windows Live, which was announced a few months ago. That means that OCS 2007 R2 can connect with AIM and Windows Live Messenger accounts without the need to purchase Public IM Connectivity (PIC) licenses.
Organizations that want/need to connect with Yahoo IM accounts will still have to purchase the necessary PIC licenses.