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Microsoft and Skype

August 31, 2011 11:48 AM | 0 Comments
On the 10th of May it was announced that Microsoft had agreed a deal to acquire Skype for US$8.5 billion. Since then there has been much industry chatter about ‘why’ and ‘what’ this means for the industry. For me the only question mark is over how much they paid.
Microsoft has been moving into telephony for a number of years now. It was a natural progression for its business offering to include telephony, voice and video, in the evolution of work-based collaboration and in fact voice and video have been available as part of MSN Messenger for many years.
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Since the earliest days of VoIP when the term ‘IP telephony’ was commonly used to describe the new age method of making voice calls, there has been discussion of convergence. That is, between the old ways of providing business telephony services (telephone switches, PBX systems and copper twisted-pair to the desk), and the new approach where voice could be provided as ‘just another service’ on the corporate LAN.

VoIP had humble beginnings where it was seen as a way to get free calls, but with no expectation that the quality would be good or could be controlled. However, it has now come of age and can compete head-to-head with the PSTN and even surpass it in quality terms (with HD voice technology). The barriers to adoption have been coming down for VoIP, and Aculab systems are in place across a whole range of industry sectors supporting both TDM and IP-based traffic.

An example of just how IP-based applications can be rolled out to integrate with an existing TDM infrastructure can be found in a new Aculab case study from a UK city council. Continue Reading...

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