Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday said the upcoming version of its Windows CE operating system for handheld devices, set-top boxes and mobile phones will include features for voice over IP, and paraded a list of manufacturers currently building VoIP devices with the platform.
A beta version of Windows CE 5.0, previously code-named Macallan, is scheduled to be available on the Redmond, Wash., company's developer site this week, with the final product scheduled for release during the summer.
Apparently trying to build momentum for the upcoming release, Microsoft at the Spring VON 2004 IP communications conference in Santa Clara, Calif., listed nearly a dozen equipment manufacturers developing VoIP phones and devices using Windows CE. The vendors include LG Electronics and NEC Infrontia Corp.
VoIP technology enables voice communications over the Internet to replace more expensive traditional telephone services, particularly with international calls. Corporations have been adopting the technology in private networks to cut communication costs between offices in different regions.
Because companies use private circuits, they are able to attain a higher quality of service than what consumers would experience using cellular phones, handheld computers or PCs attached to the public Internet.