Microsoft Gets VoIP Serious

Microsoft is getting very very serious about VoIP. The company just announced that it is buying AG, a unified messaging software company based in Zurich, Switzerland. The acquisition of AG will allow Microsoft to tightly integrate VoIP with its Office System applications and servers—specifically its Real-Time Collaboration platform, Microsoft Office Live Communications Server. I am not sure how this whole thing is going to play out, since the press release is skimpier than a Paris Hilton outfit.

In recent months, Microsoft bought Teleo, decided to play nice with Yahoo, and yesterday gave a pretty good demo of Live IM client and its click to call features. The fact that the news announcement comes so closely on the heels of yesterday’s demo, makes me wonder… what’s up? The press release also makes me wonder how much of the RTC technology at the time of demo was really ready for prime-time. Still, these moves indicate that the only way for Microsoft to pump life into the aging Office and Messaging platforms is through Voice.

The next big battle in Silicon Valley: Microsoft-versus-Cisco. Real Time Communications Server versus Call Manager, with Asterik doing its thing in the back, quietly. Remember folks, for this could be more fun than Microsoft-versus-Sun.

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