Microsoft details VoIP and video plans

Windows Live service to offer features such as click-to-call VoIP. Also: Company will develop new VoIP phones.

Dawn Kawamoto Former Staff writer, CNET News
Dawn Kawamoto covered enterprise security and financial news relating to technology for CNET News.
Dawn Kawamoto
Microsoft on Thursday unveiled details of plans for VoIP and video products offered through Windows Live services that will include new VoIP phones and a click-to-call feature for address book names.

The software giant already offers free video communications powered by Logitech and PC-to-PC VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol) capabilities via MSN Messenger, as well as one-way PC-to-phone calling capabilities in select markets via its Windows Live Messenger.

However, Microsoft later this year plans to either expand its VoIP-related offerings or test new features for Windows Live Mail, Windows Live Search and Windows Live Messenger. This move is part of its overall Live services strategy.

Windows Live Mail, currently a desktop beta, will feature a free e-mail client designed to enable users to right-click on their address book contacts to launch a PC-to-PC voice or video conversation.

Microsoft also plans to test its Windows Live Search, which aims to allow users to make a direct call from their PC to the search result.

And the software giant hopes to introduce new VoIP phones designed to make PC-to-PC calls and one-way PC-to-phone calls via Windows Live Messenger. The phones also will be designed to work on a traditional telecommunications network.