Microsoft And VoIP: Not If, But When
January 03, 2005
This is just a guess: When Microsoft's Bill Gates takes the stage later this week at the CES show in Vegas, he might talk a little bit about Voice over IP.
Like I said, it's just a guess -- I have no inside information that any big announcements are brewing in Redmond. But it doesn't take a genius to figure out that Microsoft will eventually be a big player in IP-based telephony, as well as other online services. The only question is, when will they start?
This week seems as good a time as any, since Microsoft's monopoly partner SBC will be using CES to bring more clarity to its residential VoIP plans. Since Microsoft and SBC are teaming on IP television, why not add VoIP to the mix?
Microsoft, which has dabbled in VoIP deployments before, has yet to make any big splash -- but there's no reason why the giant of the Northwest, looking for new worlds to conquer, couldn't come out with a Skype-killer application, just for grins. As VoIP watcher Andy Abramson says, VoIP is "all about the apps, baby." Maybe this week the king of application software will start talking about his company's Internet phone plans. We'll be there, in our typical professional style, listening in.