Microsoft has used the VoiceCon show in Florida to demonstrate the latest version of its unified communications (UC) suite, codenamed Communications Server 14.
The platform, which will be available in the second half of the year, handles all voice telephony calls via VoIP rather than a PBX, and allows users to embed the communications software into applications to allow collaborative working.
"Three years ago at VoiceCon we shared our vision to transform business communications from discrete technology silos to a UC platform built in software," said Gurdeep Singh Pall, corporate vice president of Microsoft's UC Group, in a blog posting.
"Today that vision has been realised, and we see the predictions we made back then coming true. The industry is adopting a software-centric approach."
Pall predicted that, three years from now, more than half of all calls will involve more than just voice traffic, more than one billion people will use UC and more than three quarters of new business applications will have embedded communications technology.
Microsoft already has more than a dozen partners signed up and committed to developing products for the platform, he added.
"Very early in my career I witnessed how the launch of Windows 3.0 in 1990 became a tipping point in mainframe- to PC-based computing transformation," said Pall.
"I believe that Communications Server 14 will be a similar event in the transformation of business communications."
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