April 24, 2014

Windows Phone plus Skype adds up to trouble for telcos

Mobile call rates will come under pressure.

Microsoft has done a great job of integrating its cloud products with Windows Phone since its initial release in late 2010. In the first iteration of the operating system we saw native Windows Live integration for various services including SkyDrive for storage.

With the 7.5 release (commonly known as “Mango”) Microsoft brought in tighter integration of Office 365 – including the ability for the phone to auto-configure shortcuts to SharePoint Online when you added an Exchange Online account.

The Lync Mobile 2010 client was not available at that time, however with recent updates the phone now automatically detects that Lync is installed and configures it for you. Or if it’s not installed, takes you to the Marketplace so you can download it.

Last week Microsoft unveiled Windows Phone 8, due out later this year. One of the key features was tight integration with Skype, which Microsoft purchased in 2011. While also available as a standalone application, the native integration allows for Windows Phone users to make and receive Skype calls from their handset just as they would any other phone call. (Can you hear the end to mobile call rates Telstra/Optus/Vodafone?)

Something that was not mentioned was integration of the Lync mobile client.

One would expect a similar level of integration for Lync and Windows Phone  which would allow mobile users to call colleagues at their computer over the data network instead of using the expensive phone network to call a desk phone or mobile.

Previously data ran over voice networks but now however the reverse is true. Voice is simply another service running over data networks.

The ability to see contacts online – be it via Skype or Lync – and to call them wherever you or they are regardless of platform? We really are heading into the world of ubiquitous communications and cross-platform communications… as long as they are Microsoft products.

 

Loryan Strant is a Microsoft Office 365 MVP (Most Valuable Professional). Follow him on Twitter @TheCloudMouth.

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