Monday, May 22, 2006

Microsoft Shows Cordless Handsets for Windows Live Services

At the Microsoft Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) 2006, Bill Gates described how Microsoft is working with hardware partners and retailers to create new platforms and markets for communications devices based on Windows Live services.

A "dual-mode" cordless telephone is a home phone that plugs into both a PC and a traditional telephone land line, enabling users to place calls through a traditional landline service or through the Internet. The Internet link from the phone can give users access to Web services, as well as competitive long distance and international calling.

Motorola will ship dual-mode cordless phones later this year that support Windows Live services.

Uniden in the U.S. and Phillips in Europe are already supplying compatible devices.

Microsoft is also releasing a new software development kit (SDK) for building hardware solutions for Windows Live services.

The new cordless handsets are compatible with Windows Live Messenger, providing IM and providing access to Windows Live Messenger contacts directly from the handset. The phones can either do PC-to-PC calls or very inexpensive PC-to-land line and mobile calls via Web Calling service via Microsoft's partner, Verizon.

"Each month, people spend more than 1 billion minutes in Windows Live video conversations. It's clear that consumers are now embracing technologies that support relationship-centered digital communications," said Tom Gibbons, corporate vice president, Consumer Productivity Experiences Group, Microsoft.

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