IBM has announced the availability of the new version of Lotus Sametime instant messaging and collaboration software, which will include real-time point-to-point video for expanded communication capabilities. The shipping begins in early second quarter 2007.

This release will also include integration with Microsoft Outlook and Office applications and support for Linux servers and Macintosh clients.

Built on an Eclipse framework, Lotus Sametime is an easily extensible platform, enabling anyone to build and deploy open extensions known as “plug-ins.” With the product’s new integrated video capability and plug-ins developed by telephony and video providers, Lotus Sametime is further validated as a flexible platform for unified communications and collaboration, IBM said in a statement.

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