Microsoft planning VoIP softphone? Here's why it makes sense

I don't have any knowledge that they are, but I am beginning to think it could happen.The Seattle Times reports that during a morning keynote today at WinHEC (Windows Hardware Engineering Conference), someone named Mr.

I don't have any knowledge that they are, but I am beginning to think it could happen.

The Seattle Times reports that during a morning keynote today at WinHEC (Windows Hardware Engineering Conference), someone named Mr. Gates will show a Longhorn-prototype laptop with an auxiliary display screen built on the cover that would:

"Display a few lines of information, such as the time or a message, similar to the small displays on some clamshell-type cellphones that show time and call information without having to open the device."

OK. "What ifs" alert, but let me explain my thinking.

Ain't a big leap from a UI capable of displaying a message from a cell caller to one which displays a message from a VoIP caller.

These laptops, like most others, will, of course, be Wi-Fi enabled.

And the softphone? Well, the "soft" stands for "software," a family of competencies which Microsoft's taken a couple of stabs at over the years.

And, ya know what? Softphone could be integrated into or with Outlook? Ya think?

With this functionality, plus the fact that such a laptop would already have built-in wireless connectivity- why not a Microsoft branded softphone with VoIP over WiFi capability?

And, with that message display capability on the cover auxiliary display screen?

Longhorn's due in late 2006. If Longorn laptops had a branded Microsoft VoIP softphone built in, would you use it? TalkBack to us.