I said last week that Jeff Raikes was going to make an announcement, he has. It starts:"Within three years, more than 100 million people will be able to make phone calls from Microsoft Outlook, SharePoint, and other Microsoft Office Systems applications; and customers will be able to gain this value with VoIP solutions that are half the cost of what they are today."
100,000,000 in 3 years - we're not messing about here !. When I was working full time on Live Communications Server I said that the take up of instant messaging compared with the take up of mail is like comparing the take up of DVD players with Video recorders. What we're talking about is:
This last one is the biggy I've written before about the way desk phones have become an anachronism. Anywhere I see a name on my PC I want to see presence, where I see presence I want to be able to chose a communication method, and my PC should start a phone call as easily as an e-mail provided that numbers are written properly The network already holds my contacts, and provides the presence service. With Exchange 2007, taking and storing voice messages has become another network solution - and I've also written about why this is so much better than traditional Voice mail. Management of voice calls is just another service - but today's VOIP solutions are expensive yet no more functional than the systems the replace. . OCS 2007 will address both points. As Raikes puts it, "We get out today's communications potholes, telephone tag, voicemail jail, or looking up and then dialing a colleague's office number, cell number, home number, only to leave a message." Bring it on.
[UPDATE] While I was typing that Eileen blogged about it too. I hate it when that happens.And she points out (as I mentioned a few days ago) you Register an interest in BETA on Beta Central
i have a 9 year old dell laptop c400 and i can make as many local or international calls as i want for free. dont ask me, i dont really know why for sure, other than the fact that i have a cheap little soft ware that i got for free from fire foxes home page. just thought that might be of some interest to some one. thanks and have a great day...............................
Sure. There are plenty of bits of software that allow this, Windows Live Messenger and Skype being obvious ones. But they're silo'd - i.e. Skype knows if you're signed in or not, but Outlook, Word sharepoint, and line of business applications can't show that.
These applications are great for home and small office/home office situations, but you can't replace a PBX with 1000 copies of Windows Live messenger.