Microsoft enters the VoIP market

Microsoft has ventured into voice over internet protocol (VoiP) sector after introducing a beta version of a communications server with VoIP capabilities.

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By  Published  December 23, 2006

Microsoft has ventured into voice over internet protocol (VoiP) sector after introducing a beta version of a communications server with VoIP capabilities. The software giant has announced it has started testing a new enterprise voice communications server, which enables companies to use VoIP through their office suite applications. Ahead of the release of the Microsoft Office Communications Server, which is scheduled for the April-June quarter of 2007, Microsoft has provided a private beta to 2,500 IT professionals. The server allows workers to make phone calls from Microsoft Office applications such as Office Word 2007, Office Outlook 2007 or Office Communicator by clicking on a colleague’s name to initiate a phone call. “The convergence of telecom and data networks is happening rapidly. Software will integrate these two worlds, enabling IT managers to deliver new communications possibilities that include VoIP,” Gurdeep Singh Pall, corporate vice president of the Unified Communications Group at Microsoft, said in a statement. “With this open architecture and broad interoperability, Office Communications Server 2007 will give IT managers the flexibility to determine when and how and in what way they move their communications infrastructure forward.” This is not Microsoft’s first step into VoIP. The company acquired Teleo, a provider of VoIP software and services, in April 2005. Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer has also gone on record as predicting that within ten years all business communications will be web-based, according to a report by Reuters. Moving into the business telecommunications market will pit the software colossus against firms such as Cisco and IBM who are also seeking to exploit the growing demand for VoIP from customers.

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