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Microsoft Buying Chat Provider

Parlano brings group chat platform to Redmond's UC stack.

Microsoft announced in late August that it intends to buy Parlano Inc., a Chicago-based company it has already worked closely with on enterprise communications software.

Parlano makes the MindAlign group chat platform, which already integrates with Microsoft's Office Communications Server (OCS) 2007 and Office Communicator. Following the acquisition the software will be a native feature of Microsoft's unified communications stack.

MindAlign is a heavy-duty chat app meant to serve sectors such as financial services and call centers, which may require workers in disparate locations and time zones to conduct group conversations. It enables "persistent" conversations, meaning participants who need to go offline can pick up threads later.

Microsoft did not release financial terms of the deal, which it said will be done by year's end. The company said Parlano workers will eventually move over to Microsoft's Unified Communications Group.

Redmond is making a big push around unified communications, where it faces competition from the likes of Cisco Systems Inc. OCS 2007 released to manufacturing in July. Along with providing unified instant messaging, VoIP and e-mail, the server features hook into a range of corporate telephony systems.

About the Author

Chris Kanaracus is the news editor for Redmond Developer News.

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