Microsoft, to nobody's great surprise, is gearing up for a full frontal Microsoft-like assault on the VoIP market. This was promised by CEO Steve Ballmer and set up by the acquisition in August, 2005, of VoIP startup Teleo.
It should be interesting. News reports say that the company is somehow combining VoIP with the Vista operating system. That makes a lot of sense.
We're not OS experts, but we have one question: Doesn't that sound a bit like the deep integration of Windows and the Internet Explorer browser that led to the problems that dominated the vendor's existence for so many years?
Regardless, it's clear that Microsoft is embarking on a ubiquitous road map with a vengeance. An InternetWeek story alone mentions VoIP, e-mail, video, video conferencing and IM. Certainly, there are more applications that fit under the loosely unified communications/Web meeting umbrella that the company will get into. The sense is that Microsoft knows precisely what it wants to do and knows how to do it.
This all seems to play to the company's strength. As more and varied applications are introduced, Microsoft's market dominance and highly familiar look and feel will be increasingly big advantages.