Response Point, Microsoft's phone for small-business users, was one of the casualties of Microsoft's layoffs last year.
But it wasn't until May 18, 2010, that Microsoft officially announced the discontinuation of its small-business-targeted VOIP product.
Microsoft cut the majority of the Response Point team last spring. At that time, in spite of rumors that Response Point was dead, Microsoft officials insisted on saying the company was continuing to evaluate the future of the product.
Here's the official notice regarding the future of Response Point (which I found via NetworkWorld):
"After transitioning Microsoft Response Point to engineering maintenance status a year ago, Microsoft has made the decision to discontinue the sale, support and development of the Response Point phone system for small businesses, effective August 31, 2010. Current customers will be able to continue to use their Response Point product(s) as per their equipment manufacturer purchase agreement."
The Microsoft Web site acknowledged a lack of demand for Response Point phones. Instead, Microsoft plans to encourage SMB customers to look at its Office Communications Server (OCS) product. Microsoft is currently working on a new version of OCS, expected to be called either OCS 2010 or 2011 (based on when it finally ships).
Customers who bought Response Point phones won't see those phones abruptly stop working in August. The actual cut-off date is up to the OEMs, according to Microsoft.
Microsoft released Response Point 1.0 in October 2007. The software platform, which offered VOIP calling and a voice-activated user interface, is aimed at companies with one to 50 phones. Response Point OEMs — including D-Link, Uniden, Quanta Computer and Aastra, bundle Microsoft’s Response Point software with their phone systems. Microsoft was working on version 2.0 of the platform, codenamed "Austin," when the layoffs hit last year.