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Microsoft Extends VoIP Platform in Next Version of Windows CE
[March 31, 2004]

Microsoft Extends VoIP Platform in Next Version of Windows CE

Microsoft Corp. has announced upcoming voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) features for Windows CE 5.0 (previously code-named “Macallan”). The company also announced that leading vendors are delivering a wide variety of VoIP-based client devices and services — such as desktop and wireless phones, IP set-top boxes, residential gateways and thin clients — running the Windows CE operating system.

New device and equipment manufacturer partners developing IP phones and VoIP devices using Windows CE include Atrium C&I Co. Ltd., Bast Inc., Intermec Technologies Corp., Inter-Tel Integrated Systems Inc., LG Electronics, Mikasa Shoji Co. Ltd., NEC Infrontia Corp., Netsys Corp., Reddline Systems Inc., RV Technology Ltd., Uptech Ltd., Wooksung Electronics Inc and ZTE Corp. These partners chose Microsoft because Windows CE enables innovative telephony applications and tight integration with desktop and server applications.

The updates to the VoIP platform in Windows CE 5.0 will decrease development time for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) via expanded componentization, integrated collaboration features, and an advanced application programming model and user interface. Windows CE 5.0 will further enable enterprises and network service providers to offer compelling telephony services to customers through easy integration with existing infrastructure, sophisticated call functionality and a configurable telephony user interface.

“We are extremely excited about the breadth of IP phones and VoIP devices being delivered by a broad range of manufacturers on Windows CE,” said Scott Horn, director of the Embedded Devices Group at Microsoft. “As voice and data services continue to merge across networks, enterprises and service operators are deploying innovative IP phone and VoIP devices that will help increase productivity and access to information in the office and at home. The new features in Windows CE 5.0 will support manufacturers with an even more flexible and integrated platform for developing a broad variety of VoIP-enabled client devices.”

Strong Partner Momentum

“With strong customer interest, we recently shipped our Inter-Tel Model 8690 advanced IP phone on Windows CE, which creates a framework for our customers to integrate business-specific applications,” said Jeff Ford, president of Inter-Tel Integrated Systems. “We are expanding our relationship with Microsoft to build our next generation of advanced IP phones on Windows CE, which are designed to make it easier for our enterprise customers to integrate their existing IT infrastructure with our telephony solution.”

Additional VoIP features coming in Windows CE 5.0 will enable increased productivity for customers via multiparty audio conferencing, Exchange Server integration with contact search and calendar functionality, and unified messaging. New features such as automatic provisioning and user identification will help IT departments simplify deployment and administration of IP phones and VoIP devices.

“Windows CE 5.0 will enable us to easily build our upcoming IP phone product line while providing premium features such as instant messaging, alerts and multimedia services to our customers and end users of our phones,” said Gyoo-Soo Lee, chief research engineer at LG Electronics. “As IP phones become multifunctional communication devices, the feature enhancements in Windows CE 5.0 will enable us to more quickly and cost-effectively develop smart IP phones.”

System integrators including BSQUARE Corp., HCL Technologies Ltd., Datacraft Asia Ltd., Net2Com Ltd., TABLETmedia Inc. and Zinwell Corp. are using the Windows platform to provide deployment and integration support for enterprises and service operators around the world. These new industry partners join previously announced manufacturers BCM Computers Co. Ltd., Casio Computer Company Ltd., Hitachi Ltd., Samsung Electronics Company Ltd., Symbol Technologies Inc. and Tatung Co., which are delivering innovative IP phones and VoIP-enabled devices running Windows CE. One example is Mitel Networks Corp.’s 5230 IP appliance, which enables location transparency across the network, allowing users to associate any workstation as their own.

Leading telephony and Internet service providers are using the Windows platform to provide innovative, revenue-generating services while reducing customer support costs and increasing user satisfaction.

“Utilizing our global network and advanced routing technologies, Vonage offers innovative, feature-rich and cost-effective telephony services,” said Cyrus Driver, vice president of wholesale sales at Vonage. “The recent deployment of our soft phone based on Windows CE enables rich services that integrate with desktop and server applications, allowing our customers to be more productive.”

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