RTC Enhancements

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2003-05-06 Print this article Print

The relationship between the PC and the phone is one of the areas where Microsoft expects big changes to take place. Advances need to include the accommodation of data, voice and video, as well as real-time communications (RTC). "You will see a lot of enhancements around RTC in Windows. We have also put together an Advanced Prototype PC, code-named Athens, with Hewlett-Packard," he said. The Athens PC has a built-in telephone linked to Microsofts productivity applications.
Chad Magendanz, lead program manager for the hardware innovation group, said HP and Microsoft have been refining Athens to exercise hardware and software integration. "Our broader goal is to work with a wide variety of telephony and communications devices.
"The goal here is to have a consistent user experience and a consistent set of interfaces that make it simple and consistent for the user," he said. Using the system to listen to music, a user can take a call on a PC-enabled speakerphone, which immediately mutes the music and indicates presence—that the user is on the phone. An information page can then be displayed, pulling from Outlook all the callers contact details as well as information on previous notes and meetings. Users can also enable a "do not disturb" function that automatically sends incoming calls to voice mail, while still being able to screen those calls and see the callers details. Replies can be sent back to the caller through the PC. "Weve integrated telephony and have added value to your calls using the PC, turning it into one collaborative experience," Magendanz said. Gates also stressed Microsofts commitment to tools development, talking about how his company is building big advances into its tools like the .Net Compact Framework. Microsoft also has a road map for integrated lifecycle tools, including profiling, model checking, defect detection, and test prioritization and automation, he said.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at www.eweek.com.


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