Further pushing into the unified communications market, Microsoft has announced plans to acquire Chicago-based Parlano, a company that makes the MindAlign online group chat application which enables employees in multiple locations to set up chat sessions in a secure, encrypted environment.

"Parlano has been successful in meeting the communications needs of companies in financial services and other vertical markets," said Microsoft's corporate vice president of unified communications Gurdeep Singh Pall.
The software giant said the technology developed by Parlano would be used in the Microsoft Office Communications Server and Office Communicator software, improving instant messaging and conferencing features. Microsoft is expected to launch the latest version of its unified communications suite this October, which they claim will help users integrate voice and other communications into productivity applications without the need of replacing existing infrastructure. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter.