On Thursday, Microsoft opened up some of the technology for Live Communications Server 2005 so that third party business apps can us the advanced presence info (including VoIP integration) that LCS allows. Technically, it is the Presence Controls for Communicator 2005 that Microsoft has released and maded available for further development and extensibility using Visual Studio 2003.
This technology has a chance to take business presence to the next level. For example, as this News.com article explains, LCS and Communicator could automatically show when employees are on the phone (with VoIP integration) and could send alerts when fellow employees update a project, complete a task, or make changes to a shared file.
In June, I posted about how impressed I was with LCS and Communicator 2005. I the next five years, I think it could have a similar impact on empowering geographically dispersed teams to what Exchange, Lotus Notes and other groupware had on collaboration in the late 1990's. Okay, maybe not quite that drastic, but it could be big.
Of course, on Wednesday, Google made its entrance in the IM space - a development that could also have a potential impact on business presence. I'm very interested to see what Google's ultimate plans for IM are.