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| Communications and Technology Blog - Latest news in IP communications, telecom, VoIP, call center & CRM space

Microsoft

Skype For Asterisk to Shut Down

May 25, 2011

One of the more exciting announcements in the open communications space was when Digium inked a deal with Skype to allow the most popular open source communications server to work natively with the most popular Internet telephony software.

But yesterday Digium put out a note telling users that Skype for Asterisk will no longer be available after July 26th, 2011. Current users should be able to use it for a period of two years after that date.

The question worth asking is whether this announcement marks the end of Skype support for non-Microsoft platforms. As Erik Lagerway asks - will Skype Connect for various PBX vendors be next?

In the past I've have heard there were scaling issues with Skype for Asterisk so this move could be a result pruning products which didn't meet certain standards or requirements.

Obviously we will know more as time goes on but this move likely won't be welcomed by the legions of open-source fanboys out there. And Microsoft needs to be careful to not alienate the influencers in the market if it doesn't want to intentionally reduce the value of an acquisition which many say cost too much.

Update May 26, 2011

Skype sent me their official comment regarding Skype for Asterisk from Jennifer Caukin, spokeswoman for Skype.













Flash Support May Be Apple's Only Weak Spot

May 23, 2011

I’ve got two kids and for privacy reasons we will call them X, age seven and Y, age six. For their last birthday X received a netbook and I noticed over the last eight months or so – it was rarely used while an iPod, a Nintendo DSi and my iPad were. So partly because I was sick of lending my iPad to the kids constantly and because I saw just how much use iOS devices were getting in my house – I lobbied the grandparents to not get another netbook but instead get the youngest child “Y” an iPad.

Y didn’t want an iPad – only because you couldn’t play some Flash-based game on it.

VocalTec adds magicJack to Name

May 22, 2011

In Life and Internet Telephony, Timing is Everything

VocalTec will now become magicJack VocalTec Ltd. – a nod to the fact that most Americans see more magicJack ads than they do even McDonalds and name recognition for VocalTec is virtually zero – except for the handful of us in the VoIP space in the nineties.

The personal irony for me is that Microsoft NetMeeting was an Internet telephony software package which was given away for free by Redmond shortly after VocalTec announced a paid product. As a result, VocalTec had to refocus completely on hardware gateways and Microsoft became the leader in VoIP.

Avaya SMB Event Features Cake Boss

May 17, 2011

Avaya Press and Analyst SMB Live Blog.



At an Avaya Event here in New York City, the company is set to detail its plans to migrate Nortel users to Avaya's IP Office 7.0. According to Isabelle Guis (pictured) General Manager of of the SME Communications Business Unit, the company now has 30 million users - 14M of those came from Nortel and there are 7 million total IP Office users - with 200k systems being sold last quarter.


Here are some shots of the event so far.




10:00 am EST Kick Off

Announcer addresses audience from TV via video Small business make is vital to Avaya.

Dr. Alan Baratz
takes the stage. He transitions to a video of happy customers "Thinking Big."



IP Office was designed for small to medium businesses and can scale to 1,000 users. 60% YoY growth - almost 150% QoQ growth in sub-20 end of market.


















Tehrani Stuck on Train

May 17, 2011

IBM to Eclipse Microsoft Market Cap

May 17, 2011

Ouch. The PC revolution took all the power away from the hardware leader IBM only to give it to the software company making operating systems - Microsoft. For decades, Microsoft used it's OS dominance to help subsidize and sell myriad software products causing the company to grow like a weed.

But Redmond needs a new growth engine and it looks like PCs and servers just aren't going to continue their massive growth curve - especially when you consider how well iPads are selling.

Moreover, IBM brilliantly transitioned from a PC company to services where they are doing very, very well.

This is why as Matt Rosoff at Business Insider explains the reason IBM is about to pass Microsoft in market cap.

He infers this is the reason for the Skype acquisition by Microsoft but really, the company needs a solid mobile advantage and a way to get it's voice and unified communications strategy to be successful and the Skype deal kills these birds as well as adding a social and consumer electronics elements to the mix.















In Wake of Skype Deal, Will Microsoft Investors Revolt?

May 9, 2011

In 1997 when TMC decided to launch a magazine focused on IP communications named Internet Telephony, the nascent market had VocalTec, a software manufacturer charging around $50 for their software and Microsoft with their NetMeeting software which was free. Overnight, Microsoft took over the VoIP client market and became the reference software for H.323 calls - a standard which is rapidly losing out to SIP for most applications.

NetMeeting was clumsy to use - it had a GUI but was clunky and not friendly to users. Microsoft lost interest and reallocated most of its telecom developers to its newly formed Internet strategy.

Likewise for Microsoft's wireless phone strategy - the company was way ahead of the market in developing phones which could do so much but the level of complexity kept the company from becoming the market leader.

In the first case Skype became the winner of the easy to use VoIP software wars. Not that there was really a war - there was a massive vacuum in the market when Skype launched.





Nokia Lays Off Due to Apple Success

April 27, 2011

7,000 people will be laid off by Nokia because of loss of market share to Apple. How bad is the situation? Well, a five-year chart of Stock performance of Apple and Nokia shows Apple up 400% and Nokia down about 59% during the same period. Of course Apple sells more than iPhones but we know this device is bringing more buyers into its stores with open minds and open wallets.

Will the new Microsoft deal turn things around for the beleaguered cell phone maker forced to cling to non-smart-phone sales as a differentiator?

C3 Technologies Advances 3-D Maps

April 26, 2011

Stunningly realistic 3-D mapping technology is coming out of C3 Technologies - a company using multiple cameras on airplanes coupled with missile-targeting tech to provide users with incredibly realistic maps which include pixel-depth mapping allowing you to know exactly how high in the air any area of the map happens to be. The technology is more cost-effective than laser-based LIDAR and is said to need manual intervention 2% of the time.

Another benefit is it produces 3-D maps which are are 360 degree explorable. Check it out - it is pretty amazing.

Obviously, this accuracy is greater than what is needed for GPS and it is slow to render - even on a powerful machine but certainly, the clearer the picture, the better. Keep a watch out for new augmented-reality applications which could certainly benefit from the increased clarity of the map images C3 has produced here.

Check out the Vegas strip where you can see the Mirage and Ceasar's Palace (click to enlarge)


More from Technology Review.








President Obama Needs to be at ITEXPO

April 15, 2011

I recently learned that President Obama isn't happy with the old White House telephone. According to Fox News he said:

The Oval Office, I always thought I was going to have really cool phones and stuff," he said during a small fundraising event at a Chicago restaurant. "I'm like, c'mon guys, I'm the president of the United States. Where's the fancy buttons and stuff and the big screen comes up?



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