Following on from my list of VoIP providers a while ago, I thought I’d better add that Microsoft are going to release a VoIP client for mobile phones this year. It’s apparently going to be part of Microsoft Office Communicator, and it’s a dead cert that the software will only run on Windows Mobile:
[Chief Executive of O2] Erskine said because Microsoft’s service runs on a mobile version of Office, its appeal initially will be to business users rather than private consumers.
But Ballmer last week said: “Most people have a personal life and they have a professional life. And they want the device that goes in their pocket to give them one glimpse of their information, whether it happens to be part of their private life or part of their professional life.” It is this formula that won Microsoft domination of the desktop.
Another issue is the insane bandwidth charges that mobile phone providers often lumber their customers with, so these calls aren’t quite as free as they seem. But still, this is another small piece of convergence between mobile technology and desktop Internet products.