Birth of New Unified Communications Ecosystems

Right now we’re starting to see a lot of convergence between mobile devices and desktop telephony equipment. Modern VoIP handsets are starting to stock up on functionality and applications that has, so far, been the sole domain of smartphones, including touchscreens and app-compatible operating systems.

Convergence in Unified Communications

When you take the smartphone dynamics to desktop phones in the context of smartphone and tablet functionality merging with desktop computers, you will notice a trend.

Microsoft’s next Windows operating system is going to interact seamlessly with Microsoft’s next generation of mobile OS. In fact, Windows 8’s mobile and desktop/laptop operating systems are doing more than merely “converging” and will operate closer than just “seamlessly” because Windows 8 for your next computer is going to be the exact same operating system as Windows 8 for your next smartphone.

Provided, of course, you use a Windows phone, which very, very, very few people do. But the relatively low popularity of Windows mobile devices needs to be taken alongside the continued popularity of Microsoft operating systems among users, especially among the government and enterprise sets. Will the next generation of VoIP handsets run Windows 8?

Even if Microsoft went bankrupt next year the company’s decision to utilize the same operating system among desktop and mobile devices is highly telling about their vision of the future of communications technology, a movement towards mobile competition including Apple and Google (owner of the popular Android mobile platform). Over the last year Apple has been steadily aligning their mobile and desktop operating systems by streamlining their desktop environment and beginning to establish uniform naming practices across for applications across their devices, while Google has been getting their feet wet in the world of desktop computers, ostensibly in response to the wild success of the company’s mobile efforts. There are presently several SIP handsets that run on Google’s Android.

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Android As Your Desk Phone

Android gained huge popularity with smartphone manufacturers, so it should come as no surprise that the desk phones featuring Android operating platform would start appearing. Lots of companies have been rumored to be working on Android tablets this year in the wake of the iPad 3 launch. What we haven’t heard much of until now is an Android-based desktop handset. Some have recently begun working on Android-powered desk phones.

Why put Android on a desk ? For one: plenty of apps, including visual voicemail, calendars, SMS, and email. Android-based technology offers you the first phone that gets smarter over time instead of obsolete. The other reason is that Google has broad plans for Android. In May of 2011 as it was shipping its new 3.1 version of Android at the company’s annual developer’s conference, Google announced that the next release of its operating system will offer features that would make it more suitable for use on a a big-screen, multi-touch desktop computer. And this, my friends, could have far reaching consequences for Apple and even Microsoft.

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