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Microsoft moves to business telephonyOn Tuesday, Bill Gates took the stage in San Francisco to announce Microsoft's new line of software aimed at unifying voicemail, e-mail and business meeting technology.
[ Music ] ^M00:00:03 >> I'm Ina Freed with cnetnews.com in San Francisco. After seven years in development, Microsoft is finally ready with software for moving business telephony from the phone network over to the computer network. On Tuesday Microsoft chairman Bill Gates took to the stage here to tout the benefits of when the magic of software replaces the busy signal. Microsoft, however, is far from alone in recognizing this potential, and this latest move puts it in even deeper competition with Cisco. >> Well, Microsoft is all about the magic of software. Taking software and letting people be more productive and more corrective. And what today's announcement is about, is taking the magic of software and applying it to phone calls. We don't just say phone calls, because of course once you get software in the mix the capabilities go way beyond what anybody thinks of today when we think of phone calls. The next wave of Microsoft's voiceover IP and communications products is here. Today I'm very pleased to announce the launch of Office Communication Server 2007. Office Communicator 2007, a major update to Exchange 2007, Live Meeting, and Microsoft Roundtable. Now collectively, these products, these underlaying technologies form the backbone of software-powered communications. >> You are connected to Microsoft Exchange. >> Eric Swift. >> Please enter your pin. Then press the pound key. You have one new voice -- I heard you say good-bye. Do you want to end this phone call? >> No. >> You have one new voice message -- >> E-mail. >> Opening your mailbox. First, an unread message from Rebecca Laslow [assumed spelling], titled Fabricam [assumed spelling], arrived yesterday at 3:31 p.m. Hi Eric. I'm in meetings all day. Please send me an e-mail when you get Fabricam's response to our proposal. Thanks. >> We surveyed people recently about how they think about that desk phone. And we found that one in three have successfully transferred a phone call. Now that's the most basic functionality you can imagine. Even less people have been successful at setting up a standard kind of conference call. So the button, adding the buttons and all that, that's just not going to work.