Microsoft is investing aggressively in a major new initiative called Unified Communications (or UC). The new collection or consolidation of technologies is visible in the Microsoft portfolio of LIve Communications (now Office Communications). UC presents a uniform approach to the communication industry through Exchange 2007 email, video/voice/web conferencing, instant messaging (IM), click to dial from Office products and eventually seamless enterprise communications.
Microsoft is hoping to grab a share of the lucrative $100 billion dollar business communication market. Joining the Microsoft initiative is Nortel Networks. Nortel has forged an alliance with Microsoft to further expand and integrate UC beyond the desktop and throughout the enterprise.
UC is the next step in Voice over IP evolution. The delimiters between network and applications are fading just as IP caused walls between voice and data to collapse and become more interconnected.