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Together, Microsoft And Cisco Work To Improve VoIP

Aiming to remove one of the key hurdles to widespread adoption of href="" target=_blank>VoIP, Microsoft and Cisco Systems announced Thursday that they will support the Interactive Connectivity Establishment (ICE) methodology, which facilitates communications across networks.

The adoption of VoIP has been slowed in some markets by difficulties encountered by SIP-based VoIP calls attempting to communicate across network-address translators (NATs). The action also focuses on Microsoft's efforts to deliver VoIP through its software offerings.

The firm has included VoIP capability in its Windows CE operating system for handheld devices and many expect enhanced VoIP capability to be included in its Vista OS, scheduled for delivery next year.

"Finding a way for VoIP to work better across NATs and firewalls is a problem that is faced across the industry," said Microsoft's Gurdeep Singh Pall in a statement. "Microsoft and Cisco are encouraging our industry partners to utilize the ICE methodology to ensure more consistent, reliable experiences for our customers, and to improve Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)-based VoIP interoperability across networks." Pall is corporate vice president for the Office Real-Time Collaboration Group at Microsoft.

Although it's not yet official, the ICE methodology is scheduled to be voted on this week by the Internet Engineering Task Force, an international community that seeks to keep the Internet running smoothly.

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