Microsoft unveils hardware for Web phone push

Microsoft Corp. introduced on Sunday phones, headsets and other devices to work with its software that aim to replace the traditional office phone and deliver e-mails, instant messages and phone calls over the Internet.

Microsoft, the world's largest software company, said it worked with nine technology manufacturers including Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and NEC Corp. to develop hardware to work with its unified communications strategy.

Instead of one system for phones and another for e-mails and instant messaging, Microsoft wants all communications to run over Internet networks on its Office Communicator program.

Microsoft forecasts that the shift to Web-based phone systems will gain momentum during the next three years, eventually generating billions of dollars in new revenue for the company.

The new hardware products will be unveiled at this week's Microsoft Windows Hardware Engineering Conference in Los Angeles.

View: Reuters

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Hey, that's funny. I was just talking about exactly this, transitioning to web-based telephone service in entirety, whilst casually walking to Burger King two days ago.

I guess it's no surprise that Microsoft wants to step up and be the leader and innovator of said venture. We can only hope that they will be beaten by a group that actually knows what they're doing, or at least has some experience with telephone service.

Hopefully it will be cheaper. I doubt it would work out that way.

Maybe we can have home telephone servers? Heh.

That was actually my idea. Then we'd need a DNS sort of service for telephone numbers. And phone numbers would end up something like IP addresses.

Whatever! No matter what happens, it'll be cool.

Microsoft has a ton of experience in the telephone services... Have you ever heard of Windows Mobile? How about Live Communications Server? Exchange?

The one thing that isn't mentioned here is the fact that some mobile users, using windows mobile devices, have developed a Skype plugin and use their data network to make phone calls. It sounds like Microsoft wants to make it the norm.