I've long advocated for some sort of native click-to-call capanility built within Microsoft Office applications. For example, you create a PowerPoint file, and have the ability from within PowerPoint to initiate a call to talk with colleagues or customers about additional elements might be added to the PPT.
We're finally seeing concrete signs that this capability may well be on the way.
Today at VoiceCon in Orlando, Jeff Raikes, president of Microsoft Business Division, is set to deliver a keynote address where he will say that by the year 2010 more than 100 million people will have the ability to make phone calls from Microsoft Office system applications such as Outlook, Word and SharePoint. He also stated that, in the same timeframe, a VoIP network will cost half of what it does today.
This isn't a prediction conjured out of thin air. Microsoft is making some big moves to push the VoIP development envelope.
We know this because this morning, Raikes will say that for the first time, Microsoft is making interoperability specs for its Office Communications Server available to its telephony partners. Such interop, Raikes believes, will enable these partners to develop apps that utilize SIP interoperability between the PBX and either Office Communications Server or Office Communicator.
And speaking of, Microsoft will also announce the public beta of Office Communications Server 2007 and Office Communicator 2007 will be available this month. Millions of testers could potentially take part, Microsoft believes.