Blog Post

What About Those Microsoft Echoes

[qi:090] Microsoft Corp., in its effort to woo telecoms has come up with yet another project, Echoes, a services platform that will likely to be sold to telecom carriers. It combines Microsoft’s Live Messenger, with over the air syncing of people’s address books with presence and gift wraps it as unified communications platform.

Mary Joe Foley points out that Bill Gates has been referring to Echoes in his speeches recently. Echoes was incubated by Microsoft Israel Research’s Corporate Vice President Moshe Lichtman and is being developed by Microsoft’s Israeli Strategic Development Center, Foley reports. According to one of her sources, the new platform will be able to:

  • Syncs Address book contacts over the air.
  • Ensure that IM messages work seamlessly with SMS.
  • Windows Live Messenger contacts get local numbers.
  • Voice calls from Messenger on PC to mobiles.
  • Some sort of presence.

Skype, GrandCentral and others already deliver many of these services. From that perspective there is nothing new here, except for the need of being tied to Microsoft’s platforms. Echoes’ outlines Microsoft’s biggest challenges: the inordinate amount of time they spend on developing products that are either a platform or a suite forces them to make too many compromises. One can’t blame the company whose DNA is Windows (Platform) & a Suite (Office.) This is a malady which makes them unable to move ahead and define the future.

11 Responses to “What About Those Microsoft Echoes”

  1. @ David Dean

    I agree with you, though there is someone who is going to take a flyer on this technology as well, especially if the deals are loaded with “financial incentives.”

  2. BTW, I forgot to mention, I’ve been a beta user of the Google GrandCentral platform, and it’s very impressive. Furthermore, they’ve been promising us users that new features are coming soon, and they’ll even further “up the ante” for other established players in the market.

  3. Om, so let’s assume for a moment that Echoes really has the potential to become a solid platform.

    That said, given the ongoing operational scalability issues with the Microsoft IPTV platform — and the apparent impact on the telcos — I wonder if any telecom service provider CEO is willing to take another leap-of-faith with Microsoft.

    Fool me once…

  4. Microsoft is insane or completely out of control. It cannot define the future, have no idea how to figure it how to fix its own problem. Its just lost the Yahoo!, its Windows products are facing trouble, its eroding. Microsoft must act now.

  5. ronald

    “This is a malady which makes them unable to move ahead and define the future.”
    Wow, hope you never believed Microsoft was ever able to define the future.
    Microsoft is a managed company not a leading one, they will always try to figure out the best way to take advantage of other peoples leading products.

    Maybe in the 80’s early 90’s the options were not so diverse and therefore their approach worked so well, most likely that and an early forced bet on PC’s (failure of Xenix to catch up on micro systems). So it was easier to identify or even catch up to change in directions.
    Now it looks like Microsoft is confused, Web, Mobile, PC, overlap between the three, ad supported business , license supported business and free SW. All leading in different directions. Throw in the DRM mess and it looks pretty confusing if you don’t have a direction _you_ want to go, or depend on others to show you the direction.
    In other words if there is a clear winner in the next 5-10 years Microsoft will take advantage of it. If not, they will wither away.

  6. Efrain J

    “This is a malady which makes them unable to move ahead and define the future.”
    Really? I didn’t know good bloggers made great strategists, especially business & technology strategists in a multi-billion industry!