MS Response Point small-biz phone systems imminent
In place of hard-to-remember key codes or awkward menu structures, Response Point uses voice control for transferring, parking and receiving calls. Calls can be placed to people in the company directory or an Outlook address book by saying their name.
Response Point also features an automated receptionist.
"Response Point helps deliver value to small-business telephony through the power of software," said Xuedong Huang, Microsoft's general manager for Response Point. "Our team has worked hand in hand with small-business customers to deliver a new and fundamentally better user experience."
The first Response Point system is likely to be the Quanta Syspine, with pre-orders being accepted from the end of this week. The base unit incorporating an analogue telephone adaptor (ATA) plus four phones will cost around $US2500. Extra phones will be $US159 each.
D-Link's VoiceCenter won't be far behind, with deliveries expected sometime this quarter. The base unit with ATA and five phones will sell for around $US3000, with extra phones around $US150.
Aastra has now joined the Response Point family, and is expected to release systems incorporating wireless handsets by 2008.
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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences, a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies, and is a senior member of the Australian Computer Society.