The first substantial wave of phones from the equipment makers is expected in about three months, Microsoft Product Manager Balz Wyss said.
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One phone using the operating system is already available. Last month, Inter-Tel Integrated Systems began selling its 8690 advanced IP phone.
By focusing on VoIP phones, Microsoft has begun competing with technology heavyweight Cisco System, which makes most of the VoIP phones used in businesses and homes. A Cisco representative could not be immediately reached for comment.
Wyss said here at the Spring 2004 Voice on the Net Conference & Expo that he believes the new CE software could be used to spread VoIP technology into devices that aren't necessarily thought of as phones, but still use Windows CE software.
"Any device connected to the Internet can be (broadband phone) enabled," he said.
Most of the 22 licensees are manufacturers. But one is broadband phone service provider, which has 130,000 subscribers. Vonage plans to create a "soft phone" that can be added to any devices that use the new Windows CE operating system. Soft phones are computer programs that turn any device equipped with a speaker and a microphone into an Internet phone.