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Stories by Nick Lippis

Opinion: Will Microsoft enter IP telephony?

There's no doubt that Microsoft Corp. could enter the IP telephony market. But why would the software giant want to enter an area so foreign to its core business? Well, the answer is IP telephony is moving toward a Microsoft business model. In short, IP telephony will be a software- and services-based industry, exactly what Microsoft serves. If Cisco Systems Inc. wins when communication sectors change to IP, Microsoft wins when large markets move toward software and services.
For starters, Microsoft could release a softphone that is tightly linked to Outlook, Live Meeting, NetMeeting and its other office productivity software packages. Microsoft could change course and close the Outlook API it has offered to Cisco, Avaya Inc., Nortel Networks Ltd. and others, leaving these firms with a second-rate softphone that does not connect to a Microsoft world. You might ask, is a softphone that important? You bet. Many large corporations are moving away from fixed analog, digital and even IP phones to smart phones and softphones over the next few years. British Petroleum plans to change out its 150,000 fixed phones to nearly all softphones and smart phones by 2008.

Written by Nick Lippis03 Nov. 04 22:00