"Microsoft has never had a strong message in that area" continued Forrester IT analyst Brown.
This was in response to IBM announcement that Sametime will integrate into Microsoft Office, Outlook, and Sharepoint! (http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/19882.wss )
Ephraim Schwartz, Infoworld, June 26, 2006, http://www.infoworld.com/article/06/06/26/79612_HNibmsametime_1.html?source=rss&url=http://www.infoworld.com/article/06/06/26/79612_HNibmsametime_1.html
"Not merely a pop-up IM window in Outlook, Office applications or in SharePoint, Sametime creates an availability icon, a small green box, next to any name in the document. A user need only click on the name of the sender of an e-mail, for example, and an IM communication begins. Other features that will be available using Sametime in Microsoft applications include sharing an application or launching a Web conference.
The Eclipse based Deployment Platform allows companies to run on multiple operating systems and to create plug-ins. It will be very easy for third-party ISVs to build plug-ins to Sametime. Some of the plug-ins already being deployed by IBM include a video conferencing plug-in built by Avastar and a call center technology from Instant Technologies. The call center plug-in is being used by the Canadian Navy to create what it calls Officer of the Day, a service that looks for availability not by person but by role within the organization."
See http://www-142.ibm.com/software/sw-lotus/products/product3.nsf/wdocs/homepage for more details.