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Microsoft Buying Parlano

SEATTLE (AP) – Microsoft Corp. said Wednesday it will buy a small Chicago-based technology company and add its group-chat software to a broad vision for integrated office communications programs.

Microsoft and Parlano did not disclose financial details of the deal but said they expect it to close in October. Executives for the two companies said they do not yet know if any of Parlano's staff will be laid off, or if the company will relocate to Redmond, Wash., where Microsoft is based.

Parlano, a seven-year-old company with 50 employees, makes the MindAlign group chat program, which lets users log on to a permanent chat room and send messages in real time, or search through an archive of the conversation later.

Microsoft has been working to integrate software for e-mail, instant messaging, video conferencing, office and mobile phones. Under this “unified communications” vision, PC users will be able to see whether the person they want to contact is available by IM but not by phone, for example, or move seamlessly from an e-mail to an IM conversation to a video chat.

One of the key pieces of software, Office Communications Server 2007, is slated to launch Oct. 16.

peHUB Note: Parlano was formed by Golden Gate Capital and Oak Investment Partners, following their acquisition of Divine Inc.'s collaboration assets. Longworth Venture Partners also is a Parlano shareholder.