I just took a quick looksee at VoIPLoop tonight and found their coverage of the Microsoft Unified Communications efforts rather useful, but when I saw the Cisco Telepresence piece I really felt the team over there is on the ball.
According to In-Stat the next few years will see the rise of the new converged WiFi handsets that operate in dual mode.
For real growth to matter it will be up the the mobile carriers, SIP based VoIP providers and hotspot operators to be willing to really work together. In my mind Earthlink, Google and Boingo are very well poised for this to occur.
Tom has a very, very spot on and insightful post about the Microsoft Office Communicator platform and what it means.
I'm not at all surprised about the connectivity to the public IM networks like AOL's AIM, Yahoo and others but I don't see Skype or Gizmo amongst them.
But the one thing that I don't see is the connectivity to the Mobile World beyond working on the Windows Mobile 5.0 devices. For Microsoft to really play this game the right way they need to be more open, not less, and as Tom so candidly points out, they've gone that route again.
I'm one of the happy users who has been on a series of intercontinental flights on both Lufthansa and SAS who has used the Boeing In Flight Internet Service and it has worked as advertised. Hopefully Boeing won't mothball it.
The fact that the financially troubled US airlines can't see the value in this for passengers is downright old school thinking. That's the same kind of thinking that the record industry took about downloads as a way to sell music in my view, and we all know what happened there.
My view on this is simple. As each new plane rolls off the assembly line this service should be standard equipment and an available option to the airlines to activate.
Once the service got rolling last year I found that the connectivity is as good as EvDO on the ground with even better upload speeds. VoIP actually works if you have a good headset, but best of all is the feeling of relief when you step off the plane and know you're all caught up on email and blogging.
Having taken my last three trips to Europe this way, like WiFi or broadband in hotels, it's something that the real road warrior today will find makes it easier to be working anywhere.
While he may be right, I don't see this happening for a year or two. Vonage has a lot of runway and ongoing revenues from users who are not leaving. One of the little known facts is that they customers seem to hang around, well the ones who don't bail in the first thirty days or in month 13.