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Microsoft and partners release new generation of workplace phones and devices

Microsoft Corp. and nine of its partners -- ASUSTek Computer, GN, LG-Nortel, NEC, Plantronics, Polycom, Samsung, Ta...


May 15, 2007  


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Microsoft Corp. and nine of its partners — ASUSTek Computer, GN, LG-Nortel, NEC, Plantronics, Polycom, Samsung, Tatung and ViTELiX — today introduced new devices that connect the workplace phone to e-mail, instant messaging, real-time presence information, conferencing, voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and mobile communications.

The new phones and devices will become available for use in the public beta program of Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 and Microsoft Office Communicator 2007.

“Todays office phone is marooned on an island, separate from the rest of the communications tools that information workers rely on to do their jobs,” said Jeff Raikes, president of the Microsoft Business division.

“By weaving the business phone together with e-mail, instant messaging, presence, conferencing and the productivity software people use most, we are putting voice communications back into business.”

In a keynote address at VoiceCon Spring 2007 in March, Raikes predicted that in three years, the average voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) solution for business will cost half what it does today as VoIP systems move from hardware to software.

Raikes also predicted that in the same timeframe, 100 million people twice the number of current business VoIP users will have the ability to make phone calls from Microsoft Office applications.

“Software is set to transform business phone systems as profoundly as it has transformed virtually every other form of workplace communication,” he said.

“Over time, the software-based VoIP technology built into Microsoft Office Communications Server and Microsoft Office Communicator will offer so much value and cost savings that it will make the standard telephone look like that old typewriter thats gathering dust in the stockroom.”