IBM struck first, with their announcement of Sametime 7.5. The new version offers support for BlackBerry, Nokia, and Windows Mobile devices, as well as Office and Outlook integration. It’ll be interesting to see how good a job IBM did of these features, given that Microsoft has set an awfully high bar with the Office 2003+Communicator+LCS 2005 stack. (one disquieting note: IBM’s SIP gateway apparently requires WebSphere. I hate it when that happens!)
Microsoft’s announcement is scheduled for a little later today. I’ll have more details on today’s announcements once the embargo’s lifted; check back here. Update: here are my notes on the MS announcement.
In the meantime, there’s an article in the New York Times by John Markoff that goes to great lengths to pooh-pooh what Microsoft’s doing (quoting Ken Bisconti and Julie Farris, along with Huntsville homeboy Mark Spencer of Digium) and talking about the complexity of a feature set that, based on the rest of the article, Markoff doesn’t quite understand yet. The article freely muddles the already-announced unified messaging support in Exchange with the stuff set to be announced today, but it does such a poor job of describing both that I felt dumber after reading it.