In case you weren’t aware, Microsoft unveiled a small business phone system recently called Response Point. TMCnet’s Tom Keating has a well thought-out blog entry on what Microsoft is doing as well as a bit of history on Microsoft and other players in IP communications going back to the nineties.
The SMB space continues to be a very sweet spot for VoIP. There is no question this market is huge and Microsoft wants to make billions in this space.
Will the Redmond, Washington based company be successful this time? I would say there is room in the market for many players. This is especially true if there are 10-20 million small businesses in the US.
A point worth making is this entry into the market is making the PBX players nervous and they are always evaluating their options regarding Microsoft. In my opinion there is no choice for PBX players other than to work with Microsoft. And of course everyone knows this. Well perhaps except the open-source companies. 😉
One fear I have heard twice now is the Microsoft/Nortel relationship. There is concern this relationship allows Microsoft access to Nortel’s technology on the cheap and this could make Microsoft more formidable.
My “response?” Microsoft has enough money to pay any price for telephony technology and intellectual property (the other “IP”).
So it would seem PBX players are going to have to work a bit harder as they continue their coopetition with the Redmond-based operating system, video game and mobility giant.