Microsoft kills off Response Point IP phone

Redmond says the sales weren't strong enough to justify continued development and support for the product.

Although its future had been in doubt for some time, Microsoft has announced the official cancellation of Response Point, a small-business phone system that routed calls over Internet Protocol networks.

In a post on its Web site, Microsoft said it will end sales, development, and support for the phone as of August 31.

"Despite favorable initial response from customers and channel partners since launch, we have not seen the necessary demand materialize to sustain Response Point as a viable standalone business," Microsoft said in the post. "After transitioning Microsoft Response Point to engineering maintenance status a year ago, Microsoft has made the decision to discontinue the sale, support and development of the Response Point phone system for small businesses, effective August 31, 2010."

The company quietly announced the move Friday in a separate blog post.

Microsoft's Response Point software was used by several phone makers, including Quanta, whose system was sold for a time at Costco.com Microsoft

Those who already have a Response Point phone system can continue to use it, but support remains a question mark. Microsoft said that owners should contact the maker of the phone system to determine its support and/or refund policies.

"Microsoft's discontinuation of the sale, support and development will not cause current systems to stop functioning on that date," Microsoft said, but added that it will only be providing technical support through the end of August.

In the wake of companywide layoffs last year, Microsoft said it was scaling back efforts around Response Point , though at the time it said it would continue to sell the existing product and was evaluating what to do for the future. Hardware from different makers had sold in a variety of places, including a system from Quanta that sold at Costco.com.

Asked about whether this move will mean any additional layoffs, a Microsoft representative said that the discontinuation of Response Point "will not result in any job losses within the Startup Business Group at this time."

Now, Microsoft says it will focus its efforts around Office Communications Server, its telephony and presence server for larger businesses.

 

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