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The Microsoft Vision of Software-Powered Voice

As mentioned earlier, Microsoft has taken the software approach to providing voice and unified communications products instead of relying on hardware devices such as PBX systems and phone devices to make these innovative end-user communication features usable.

Building off Microsoft-designed and industry standards-based protocols and codecs, combined with learning from the mistakes of traditional Telco manufacturers and injecting some of the industry’s top voice and unified communications product specialists, Microsoft has the opportunity to take voice services, applications, and devices to an entirely new level.

What inspires me the most about Microsoft’s vision for voice and unified communications solutions has to do with the determination to build an open platform, but also to design and develop new technologies, including applications and devices. But most inspiring are the underlying voice protocols, codecs, and the obsessiveness to ensure the quality of these services to provide customers a high-fidelity, price conscious, and adaptable voice solution despite the size of the customer. My vision of where Microsoft will clearly succeed in the areas of voice and unified communications technologies is within the focus of software plus services. Many of Microsoft’s competitors are busy designing the latest and greatest switches, conferencing devices, phones, and headsets. To be completely honest, this technology is archaic and rudimentary. What will change the way people truly communicate over the next 5 to 10 years lies within the ability to transform voice through applications. My vision is that we will be able to develop line-of-business and vertical industry applications that will completely change the way business processes are executed and will provide organizations with the ability to provide services that make a difference in the way humans communicate and collaborate in a way that is not yet understandable. The only true leader in this space, the only company focused on providing visionary developers and strategic organizations with the tools to build these innovative voice solutions, is clearly and always has been Microsoft Corporation. The focus on software, the ability to integrate voice and unified communications into applications, and the future of these technologies will enable an experience that crosses devices, applications, Web sites, mobility, and virtualization like we have never seen before, and this all comes down to one fundamental aspect, human presence. We will now explore these technological breakthroughs in more detail to give you a better understanding of what is ahead and how to prepare for the coming Communications Renaissance!

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