Thursday, November 03, 2005

Microsoft live voip on a media-stream, will it flow?, will it float?

Microsoft and several other large IT players announced significant Voice over IP (VoIP) plans aimed at consumers over the summer. The string of deals showed that big companies such as AOL, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and eBay believe consumer VoIP is a technology whose time has come.Microsoft is accelerating its business IP telephony plans with the acquisition of software firm
Microsoft's acquisition of Teleo in August was designed to add Skype-like services - such as the ability to phone land-lines from a PC - to MSN Messenger, Microsoft said. Yahoo has made a similar move in buying Dialpad, while Google recently launched Google Talk and AOL has announced its own VoIP service.
The technology will become part of Microsoft Office Live Communications Server, itself part of what Microsoft calls a major strategic shift toward online services. Microsoft chairman Bill Gates announced the "Live Software" plan earlier this week, introducing Windows Live and Office Live. There is more info here.
Windows Live--which lets users build a personalized Web portal that includes e-mail, a new instant messaging client with collaborative functions and ways to sort and maintain contact information, and enhanced local and Internet search technology--also shows Microsoft playing catch-up to Yahoo. Microsoft's take on a comprehensive portal is reminiscent of MyYahoo, where users can access Web-based services that meet both consumer and business needs. Google also gives its users the option of personalizing its home page with things such as news headlines, weather information and stock quotes.

Analysts noted that while Microsoft's Live Software plan is ambitious, the company's presentation of its new strategy Tuesday left much to be desired. Microsoft tried to cover too much ground in one event, they said, and the announcement of Live Software seemed hurried, as if the company was trying to quiet critics who wondered what Microsoft had up its sleeve to compete with the wildly successful Google.

Errors also plagued event logistics. The event ran considerably over its planned two hours, and several product demos failed initially, leaving Ozzie to awkwardly fill dead air time while engineers corrected technical difficulties.

"It was Ray Ozziea??s coming out party and it wasna??t a good one," Enderle said of the performance. "Ray really stumbled a lot. ...It was one of the most poorly executed events I've seen Microsoft do in years." more info on the same issue here.


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