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Microsoft's Big Windows-PBX Plan: Dead On Arrival?
Microsoft today rolled out its unified communications platform for tying together PBXs, desktop PCs, and Windows servers -- but it may be that it's too little, too late. There are already plenty other similar solutions out there, and they're not proprietary to a single vendor.
Microsoft has plenty of problems it has to overcome to convince people to move to its platform. For a start, the solution won't even be available until the second quarter of next year.
Of course, that's the target date. As all Vista watchers know, target dates don't mean much in the Microsoft universe these days, so it could be even later than that.
Why should anyone wait until the middle of next year or later when there are plenty of solutions out there today? The benefits are there for the taking, and the faster businesses move, the quicker they'll get them. So waiting may not be an option.
In addition, Microsoft's unified platform requires plenty of hardware, and a big committment to Windows and Microsoft. That's a big problem as well, particularly the committment to Windows. The platform isn't a standards-based one, and buying into it means buying into a proprietary solution.
Given the growing popularity of the open source IP PBX Asterisk, I'm not sure Microsoft will succeed in getting people to move to a proprietary solution. Asterix already has more than 500,000 systems in use, and by the time Microsoft's unified platform is available, that number will skyrocket.
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