Microsoft updates portal-based offering

Microsoft Corp. made available Monday the latest version of its portal-based offering Microsoft Solution for Intranets (MSI).

MSI 1.5 is an update to 1.0 released November 2001 and adds additional multimedia and mobile communication functionality, according to Microsoft.

The new solution improves on the 1.0 platform with several upgrades, most notably the addition of Microsoft Producer, which allows a content author to create rich-media presentations (audio or video synchronized with PowerPoint slides and other HTML elements) for on-demand viewing.

Other additions include tighter integration between the MSI 1.5 and Microsoft Content Management Server and the installation of the Microsoft .NET Framework on all servers in the solution, which allows the development of collaborative Web services, according to Microsoft.

The Redmond, Wash. company is also extending collaboration opportunities through companies such as Beverly, Mass. desktop collaboration software provider Groove Networks Inc., which will release within the next 30 days a partner solution offering that integrates with the MSI technology.

Groove Workspace for the MSI 1.5 is client software that runs on users’ Windows-based desktops, laptops or Tablet PCs. The Groove Networks software solution integrates Groove Workspace with SharePoint Team Services from Microsoft, giving customers a team Web site solution that supports online and offline use, works across company firewalls, and synchronizes information automatically, Microsoft said.