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When Elephants Burp: Microsoft's VoIP "News"

Yesterday, Market-Watch set off a round of wild speculation in the blogosphere about Microsoft’s “new” VoIP strategy.  Andy Abramson speculated about consumer offerings rolling out in January, which set off countless others riffing on his theme. 

MarketWatch later issued a revised story with additional material from AP which contained these further details (emphasis added by me):

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer reiterated Monday his company was targeting the market for server software allowing voice conversations and video conferencing over Internet networks.

While Microsoft has previously released various software with VoIP functionality, Ballmer said it would now be incorporated across the company’s operating system, desktop applications and server software. He added that it would be unified with e-mail, video and instant messaging. 

The Street.com reported similar details.  Red Herring said the same including observations from an analyst firm that a Microsoft push into desktop conferencing would make sense, but a consumer push would be hard because of entrenched competition from others.

The “News”?

Steve Ballmer reiterated the company’s unified communications strategy for his Japanese audience, and said that the first products would be available early next year.  Well… yes… that’s when Office 2007 will be available.  And… Office 2007 has a few hooks into Live Communication Server…  and he said they would push into video conferencing… which they announced in October with the Microsoft RoundTable Video Conferencing Camera.

No news here.  Move along…

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