In a BusinessWeek article published today, Olga Kharif talks about Microsoft's expansion into VOIP in and how consumers can expect to see it integrated into future products and services.
– In Windows Live Messenger and Mail users can call their contacts directly using their centralised address book.
– In Windows Live Expo, potential buyers and sellers can call each other's computers.
– In Free Call, an upcoming click-to-call capability of MSN Local Search, that allows consumers to speak to advertisers free of charge.
However Kharif fails to mention the new Windows Live Messenger phones from Uniden and Philips that were demoed at CES 2006 and will be entering the market shortly. This is perhaps the biggest indicator yet of how serious Microsoft is about entering the VOIP market with a winning set of products. Expect to see many more developments in this area throughout this year.