We Live in a World of Redundancies

We live in a world of redundancies. Take the telephone. Most of us
probably have one sitting right there on our desk, next to our
computer. It's used for talking to people. But do we really need a
separate device?
"No" is the short answer from a growing number of tech heavyweights
pushing "unified communications" technology that combines and
integrates voice, video conferencing, e-mail and IM on a single IP
network.
The technology is still in its infancy, with companies lining up to be
the "Microsoft of unified communications" -- including Microsoft
itself.
"There are hundreds of millions of people who will be getting a new
communications experience over the next four or five years," Microsoft
CEO Steve Ballmer said in recent a webcast.
Ballmer was celebrating a deal between his company and Nortel to
jointly develop new converged IP communications technology.
The deal brings Microsoft's operating system and applications
strengths together with Nortel's voice and services expertise.
Unified communications products from Microsoft and Nortel could be
attractive to I.T. managers who are worried about problems integrating
products from companies such as Cisco and Avaya with Microsoft wares,
said Mike Gotta, an analyst at the Burton Group.
One question is how closely Microsoft and Nortel will adhere to
standards like those being developed by the Business Process Execution
Language group, said Frank Dzubeck, president of consulting company
Communications Network Architects.
The two companies could embrace standards, or follow Microsoft's
"embrace and extend" strategy of tweaking standards to differentiate
their products.
Copyright 2006 InfoWorld. All rights reserved.
Copyright 2006 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved.
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