Continuing a trend that began with Windows Server 2003, Microsoft announced yet another name change for the product that was to have been called Microsoft Office Real-Time Communications (RTC) Server 2003; now, the product will go by the moniker Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2003. Likewise, Microsoft Placeware Conference Center will be rebranded as Microsoft Office Live Meeting 2003 in keeping with the new "Live" naming system used for products that facilitate live communication across and between companies around the world.

"Our customers told us they could better understand and relate to 'Live' and associated it with the potential to do more things while connecting with other people," said Dustin Grosse, the senior director of marketing for Microsoft's Real-Time Collaboration Business Unit. "The new name reinforces Microsoft's commitment to help businesses realize their potential by achieving optimal efficiency, productivity and agility."

Microsoft says its Office Live Communications Server will provide presence-awareness, instant messaging (IM) capabilities, and real-time communications capabilities that integrate with the company's other server products, such as SharePoint Portal Server and Microsoft Office. Both Live Communications Server and Live Meeting are now officially part of the Microsoft Office System as well, the company notes, giving Office users a wide range of live collaboration features, even with workers, partners, and customers who are physically far away.