Yesterday, colleague Ina Fried gave us an early scoop on Windows Vista and the compatible Office12 suite. Microsoft Chair Bill Gates exhibited and explained key elements of both during its Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles.
We've also posted an Image Gallery of some Office 12 apps. Big changes.
After I examined these images, I started to ask myself this question:
"OK, so how does Microsoft- which bought VoIP softphone provider Teleo just a few weeks ago- integrate VoIP into Office 12?
One way they might do this is by customizing the Vista file menus so that a right click on a file name would show a menu that would include choices such as "Call" or "IM." Ideally, you would want to do this if you want to call or IM a colleague to take a look at this Word, PowerPoint or Excel file.
Or, you could offer this capability via clickable prompts within the program itself.
Let us say you have a PowerPoint slide, and you want to call a colleague to check it out.
This could be done by a phone icon in the PowerPoint toolbar. When you click the icon, presto.. a presumably Microsoft-customized Teleo VoIP softphone pops up on your desktop.
If your party is a Teleo user, you can call them for free. If they are not, well, there you have your Teleo dialpad.
Of course if you just want to send them an Instant Message - "say, I want to send you this slide- can you take a look at it," wouldn't be anything wrong with doing that via a clickable MSN Messenger icon in the PowerPoint toolbar. When you click the icon, Messenger opens.
I took a stab at how such a VoIP-enabled, PowerPoint 12 toolbar might look.
Here then, is my take- my rough "artist's conception," if you will- of how a VoIP-enabled Toolbar might look in the forthcoming, Vista-compatible PowerPoint 12.
Look on the right. That's a phone icon with a Call prompt. You click Call, and then Microsoft Teleo comes up. You call, and say "wanna check out this slide?"