Manufacturers are going to start selling notebooks with integrated Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) this year and later come out with notebooks with built-in cell phone capabilities, Anand Chandrasekher, vice president and general manager of the Intel Mobile Platforms Group, said in an interview. The phone module will also let users review incoming e-mail and calendar information while the notebook remains in sleep state. Thematically, these additional communications features are termed Extended Mobile Access (EMA).
Although these notebooks won't soon threaten the handset industry, these products could boost the popularity of VoIP, especially with overseas business travelers. Consumers can make VoIP calls on notebooks now, but they generally have to configure the systems themselves.
"It saves a ton of money," Chandrasekher said. "The integration of telephony is going to happen."
The PC-with-a-phone has been tried before, but mostly for comic effect. Compaq, for instance, tried to popularize the concept in the mid-1990s with a PC that had a home phone headset jutting from the side. Intel, mostly in vain, attempted to make videoconferencing a big market around the same time.
News source: ZDNet