Microsoft's grand plan to eliminate phone numbers

I've been puzzling over transcripts of a couple of recent speeches by Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates where he discussed his vision for the end of phone numbers. But it wasn't until today, when I learned more about Microsoft's "Echoes" services platform for telcos that I began piecing together how Gates & Co. thinks Microsoft can do this.

This is from one transcript of an early May speech Gates gave in Japan:

"Right now the mobile phone, the desktop phone, the e-mail that you have on the PC, or instant messaging, these are all very different things, and the issues about how much of your information or your schedule, your current activity you share with people who communicate with you is not well designed.... By bringing together all of these kinds of communication, we can greatly simplify them. We can get rid of phone numbers, have it so when you say you want to contact someone, based on who you are and where that person is, they can decide whether to take the call or take a message about that, and so a great efficiency improvement that can be made there." (emphasis mine)

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19 Comments

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This seems far off today but so did "one computer on every desk and in every home" at one point in time.

-Yes, yes mister Bill Gates, we are working on the ability to stop digitizing numbers, we call it as "Contact List".

Not a bad idea... they are already having issues with phone numbers etc.

The only concern here by being on the cutting edge is that the rest of the *public community* by that I mean 911 for rural areas etc. are not up to speed for internet phones etc.

We need constant innovation; not all works, but we keep getting better at it.

good I idea. The only thing here is all the "traffic" dont stay in m$ (logged and forever). Oh and I wonder what the major telecomunications companies think about this...

(MioTheGreat said @ #7.1)
Have you used anything Microsoft has made in the last decade?

I'm not sure about z0phi3l, but yes, I have. Windows ME was horrible.

*YAWN* Yeah ok, maybe you should learn how to use a computer and stop blaming Microsoft for your hourly reboots.

it would be ideal but until majority of the world has access to fiber optics i don't think it's feesible...

Skype has started this but unfortunately they fall short in several areas.

Not going to happen in my lifetime, that's for sure. Hell, I'm still waiting for many of his past 'visions' to become reality.