Microsoft raises voice in Office

Microsoft has agreed to acquire a little known Swiss VoIP start-up and analysts predict that it will form an integral part of the software giant’s improving telephony offering.

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By  Simon Duddy Published  November 5, 2005

Microsoft has agreed to acquire a little known Swiss VoIP start-up and analysts predict that it will form an integral part of the software giant’s improving telephony offering. The software vendor says it will apply media-streams.com’s technology, people and intellectual property to accelerate the delivery of its unified communications vision through its real-time collaboration platform, Microsoft Office Live Communications Server. “We are in lock-step with Microsoft’s vision of bringing voice and data collaboration together, and we have built our business around delivering enhanced real-time communications for enterprise and small to midsize customers,” says Erich Gebhardt, CEO of media-streams.com, a subsidiary of Microsoft. “We’re excited to join Microsoft’s Real-Time Collaboration Group and will focus our technologies and people on delivering Microsoft’s vision for unified communications to dramatically improve collaboration,” he adds. Microsoft says integrating voice communications with the Microsoft Office System will enable exciting new collaboration scenarios. Research firm Current Analysis says the Microsoft move is a positive step and will improve the communications functionality it can offer to its business customers, but also says it risks alienating existing voice partners. “Voice systems suppliers partnered with Microsoft need to determine the scope and intent of Microsoft’s VoIP conferencing plans. With these suppliers all offering conferencing and call routing capabilities themselves, they need to determine how their own R&D efforts will complement or compete with those of Microsoft,” says Brian Riggs, principal analyst of enterprise telephony at Current Analysis.

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