If you’ve ever worked in IT you’ll know there are two disparate and potentially competing technologies in the server room. First, there are all the IP servers — web, mail, porn, terabytes of video storage hidden by the sysadmins at 4am — and the “phone closet,” a dusty corner of a creepy closet somewhere near the guy who smells where the voice mailboxes and creaky old PBX server is waiting to crash.
Microsoft is announcing their new product, Microsoft Communications Server, tomorrow. It will include voice and instant messaging services along with Microsoft Live Meeting, presumably doing away with that brick of 1980s electronics we call the office phone.
Interestingly enough this product may also have methods for interacting with the Plain Old Telephone System. We’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see how this all shakes out, but rest assured that dedicated landline and even cellphone system vendors like Cisco, Nokia, and Ericsson will definitely feel a pinch this quarter if this thing is even remotely usable.