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All SIP DECT Phones Lead to Who?! All Except snom m9 That Is...

Why the Danish built DualPhone 3081, of course!

I was wondering around the ChannelPartners expo hall floor and stopped in to see what was happening with the Aastra folks. When I picked up the Aastra SIP DECT phone I was astonished to see that the firmware appeared identical to the snom M3 firmware! After some web sleuthing it appears the Danish DECT phone maker DualPhone must OEM for Aastra and some other DECT SIP phone makers.

Below: Aastra DECT, snom m3 and Dual Phone 3081



I was starting to get worried that the DECT phone players will have no differentiation but minor hardware tweaks. Thankfully snom is back to the rescue with their latest DECT phone: the snom m9. The snom m9 has an ENTIRELY SNOM BASED FIRMWARE! ;-) Which means that with the snom m9 you have the rock-solid snom SIP stack, enhanced feature like roaming and OCS/Lync compatibility. (To read more about OCS/Lync compatibility in snom you may want to read my blog post) Just to prove that the snom m9 is not dualphone firmware see the below picture: ;-)


To see more of the snom M9 user interface see the link below:
http://wiki.snom.com/Snom_m9/Phone_User_Interface

To view a video about the snom m9 click here. I'm looking forward to the snom m9 being available here is the USA.
PS- I just found this video where snom Christian Baier discusses the difference between the snom m3 and m9. View it by clicking here.

Some links below to read more about the DualPhone 3081:
http://dualphone.net/Photos-1189.aspx
http://dualphone.net/Files/Filer/LAN%20eng/DUALphone_3081_brochure_til_PDF_nytLayout_web.pdf

Windows-based Phone System pbxnsip Releases v4.2

Some of the new features are things like more advanced conference moderator options,  a syslog client, additional SOAP API hooks, and even more easily have the phone system play your exotic music on hold. Plus more.

One of the impressive features of pbxnsip v4.xx is that there is an attendant console that is web based. This means you can run pbxnsip as a hosted server and provide attendant console without worrying about the client! It can work with Windows, Apple, Linux and...what did I forget? ;-)


Read the complete Release Notes Here.

Cisco 9971 UC SIP Phone "First Touch" Quick Video


Thanks to D&H supporting the SMB Voip 2010 Conference/Expo in DC I got to put my hand on this (fairly) new Cisco UC IP phone.

Some things I noticed:
-The handset reciever itself is kind of light
-Other than handset the buttons "feel" nice and solid
-The UC camera is not included
-Special note: This phone has a branding plate on it--wow, first for cisco! (pressure from other vendors?)
-the preset tilt is all you get

But go watch the video:





To read more about this UC IP phone from Official channels:
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps10512/

Larger Players Weigh in on Mobile SIP Softphones: Counterpath Bria for iPhone!

Well, actually Bria for iPhone.

As I was sitting in a session waiting for it to begin at the SMB Voip 2010 / Channel Partners conference I noticed that the X-Lite soft phone projected on the screen was advertising an iPhone SIP soft phone by Counterpath! (hey, those advertisements work!)


I would expect the Bria iPhone Edition to be of excellent quality if it follows in the foot steps of the Bria for Windows level quality and it comes at a VERY affordable price of $7.99 on the iPhone App Store. G729 is an additional license.  I was disappointed that presence and IM was not in this mobile clint. To go to Counterpath's site click here.

Perhaps Mobile technology has matured to the point that my previous assessment that mobile isn't ready for SIP has been outdated? (Read my article on the state of the mobile SIP client)

We have seen mobile sip soft phones from players like 3CX and others. A very promising, polished, multi-modal, Windows/Mac/Linux SIP client Blink has also hinted they are considering a mobile SIP client here. Perhaps mobile performance and data service have hit critical mass?

THIS JUST IN: Counterpath plans to release an Android SIP phone too! Whoa! Read More...

SURVEY: Small Business Windows PBX Admins Don't Give Two Hoots* About Redundancy & High Availablilty

According to the small survey I've done phone system administrators don't seem that interested in taking advantage of the benefits of redundancy and HA available with todays virtualization. Wow, I thought this was one of the big reasons to use a Windows-based solution instead of some black box! According to the survey (pictured below) 46% prepare for a disaster just like they had a black box!

 
Has the business phone system become unimportant? Is it just not that important to small businesses to keep their pbx up? Or, are us administrator just too lazy? ;-)

 
Perhaps ... people can just pickup their mobile phones so the pbx isn't that critical anymore?

 Lets review some easy ways to make your SMB Windows based communication solution be more redundant:
  • Of course you can use Microsoft & VMWare virtualization methods to make your solution redundant.
  • You may also remember my simple Windows script to fail over one Windows box to another live server at the application level.
  • We have also been reviewing StorageCraft as a backup solution that can also provide a "poor man's" kind of High Available. StorageCraft allows you to boot to a backup image as a running virtual machine.
  • Heroware is another software + hardware solution that will backup a Windows Server and run as nessesary.
Maybe you have some more to suggest?

 
* Definition

snom 300 Handset is Now Microsoft Lync Qualified--Entire Line Works With Lync 2010


snom is continuing to forge ahead with Microsoft Lync Server 2010 (formerly OCS, Wave "14", MS Communication Server, etc) interoperable devices and just today announced their snom 300 is now formally has joined the Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Compatible Program.

While the snom 300 is the first device to be added to this program all of snoms 3xx and 8xx series phones are also interoperable with Lync and share a similar firmware. snom has also introduced the first Lync interoperable DECT phone with the snom M9 (read more) snom also has a Lync compatible conference room phone and PA loudspeaker (see my video review).

I've noticed the Lync certified phones from Polycom and Aastra share an identical firmware which is probably a pro and con. The pro's being that they have a really slick color GUI, do RTaudio and are certified. The pro's about snom's firmware is that they can do creative things like have the phone register to standard SIP pbx at the same time as a Lync Server, provide very cost effective handsets with small black/white screens and put their firmware on all kinds of devices like portable phones and loudspeaker devices.

I am very impressed with snom's continuing committment to adding value to their snom 3xx line. We have had snom 3xx phones at our office for around 5 years and now those same phone handsets (no extra cost) can work with the latest in UC innovations including showing presence! (see me demonstrating OCS/Lync on snom 360) That is value.

Snom Press Release on Lync Compatible Device

Why Google Voice Will Take Over The Market--And Microsoft Lync

Google Voice will be the death of Windows based communication solutions? This very scholarly report shows why.




Ha! Likely not! ;-)

Whoa! Microsoft Releases New Communication Solution With New Name: Microsoft Lync!

Microsoft is releasing their next generation communication solution as Microsoft Lync Server. This is really Office Communication Server Wave "14" product with a new name. According to Microsoft this product is a PBX replacer product--whoa!

Microsoft Lync 2010 is a product to be reckoned with: Great user experience, cutting edge features, very forgiving real time communication codec and now more hardware devices than ever. (including my favorite snom phones! ;-) Microsoft Lync will also be able to communicate with the millions of Microsoft Live Messenger users. Another compelling part about Lync is that it will be available as an on premise or hosted solution.

We currently use OCS as a hosted solution and have been waiting for Microsoft Lync 2010 so that we can install on premise. We love the smooth UX for person to person videoconferencing and the desktop sharing experience is also incredible.

I find it quite ironic that two of my favorite communication clients have rhyming names: Blink and Lync!

To see my past blog posts about Microsoft Lync click here.

See the Microsoft Lync homepage here:
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/lync/default.aspx

Our Survey Supports IDC Research on Smartphone Gainners: Android & WindowsPhone

IDC released a 5 year outlook on what the future mobile device O/S marketshare will be. In short Android and WindowsPhone will gain considerable and iPhone will loose a little.



What is interesting is this corresponds to a very unofficial* survey we have going right now. Currently WindowsPhone at 56% and Android at 26% and iPhone/Apple at 7% as the choice for next smartphone. We'd like your input too!

Please vote on our survey and...
 read more about the IDC report here:
http://www.wmexperts.com/idcs-five-year-smartphone-forecast-windows-phone-43-2014

* Don't based your investment future on this very unofficial survey. But interesting numbers. ;-)

Has Microsoft Quietly Released Windows 7 Web Operating System?


  • What if you could have a free edition of "Windows7 Lite" running in the cloud?
  • All you would need is a browser to connect to your online Windows 7 desktop?
  • What if this Web OS would have 25GB of free storage?
  • What if part of that 25GB of storage could securely be shared with anyone in the world?
  • What if it would include slightly lite version of Microsoft Word2010, Excel2010?
  • What if it included Powerpoint2010, and Onenote2010 too?
  • What if it would include a verison of Outlook lite and an email account service?
  • Wouldn't smartphone integation with push email capability be cool?
  • What if it would include a Instant Messenger client with presence?
  • How about the ability to save your personal Calendars and be able to share with freinds to boot?
This "Windows 7 Web OS" is already available at http://www.skydrive.com/. Read on below to make sure you get the whole story!

NOTE: I don't work for Microsoft. ;-)

NOTE: The below article was written by me in response to a freind asking if a Web Operating System really is the future. It's a little off my normal Windows phone stuff, but thought a wider audience might be interested in it. Also it was triggered by functionality of  the soon coming WindowPhone7! So here goes...

I have to agree the the possibilty of the "web OS" is VERY real. I might add that the "web os"'s primary method of displaying information may not be inside a browser but applications that consume web services. There was actually a rash articles by thotful IT individuals asking the question "Is The Web Browser Dead?" In one article on networkworld it was noted that in 2010 only 23% of web traffic is view via a browser. And that number is shrinking.

I know for myself I use email client on my mobile device to read email, I use a twitter application to view posts, a RSS feed apps...etc etc. On my desktop I find myself using LiveMessenger client for more and more social networking access.

It could be argued that Microsoft's Live.com is already a kind of "web o/s": It can store documents, pictures, it has applications like Word, Excel, Powerpoint, OneNote, it can do email, calendars and calendars sharepoint and in many traditional ways it does what an OS does only on the web. Amazingly it does entirely what many pc lite users want to do!

One of the amazing things about Office 2010 is its ability to connect to docs in your live account just like a folder on your pc. For my personal documents I find myself using the Office client apps to access the docs on Live because the experience is still a little better there. When I'm at an pc that isn't mine I use the web UI. It's soo seemless.

To answer the problem of offline files--which is hugely valid. Live.com (/skydrive.com) coupled with OneNote2010 has a very elegant solution. You can open a OneNote file on your Live.com account using your pc OneNote2010 application. A copy will be synced to your pc for working offline. When You get back online it sync's up again. Perfectly seemless and I use it nearly everyday and have had no problems with it. If this offline functionality is added to the PC versions of Word/Excel/Powerpoint microsoft will have almost the "perfect storm" "web o/s" in my mind.

Another problem that a "web os" coupled with a "client side app" is solving is the issue of needing to spend a day configuring a new PC or smartphone. (or reinstalled one) The new WindowsPhone 7 will allow you to type in your Live.com credentials and have all your existing photos, officedocs, email accounts, calendars, social websites automatically flow to your phone! I expect this functionality is not far behind for the PC. This is a total game changer in my opinoin and one of the (many) reasons I plan to get a WinPhone7 when they arrive.

A couple of the very smart minds at Landis Computer and myself (not nessesarily included in the "smart minds") spent a long lunchtime discussing how to solve the biggest single problem with the personal desktop computer--getting your settings from one to the next computer. What we came up with the idea that there should be a web service that saves your settings/docs/etc so you could just walk to another computer, type in your login and be running again. When I saw Live.com's capaibilty in WP7--THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT THEY ARE DOING. I expect it won't go long till we see thing on the desktop. (And for that matter the Windows Server--actually i already know a next version of SBS WILL be web enabled--just what is question)

Get your free "web os" account right now at http://www.skydrive.com/. Join the Windows Web OS revolution. ;-)

PS-Please note that currently http://www.skydrive.com/ does NOT have a desktop feature like the screenshot above. But all the other features are there--less a Windows7 desktop. When will that come?

Why I Plan to Get a Windows Phone 7


I've been watching the mobile phone market shape up and gave non-Windows phones some serious consideration but after inspecting and playing with Windows Phone 7 (yes, that's right--using the emulator ;-) I am planning to get Windows Phone 7 unit when they are available.
Why?
  • I think the UI is elegant and the tile concept is something that my "sum it up" mind will like.
  • Tight & elegant Integration to online and social networking services
  • Easily handle multiple email and calendar accounts
  • Tight integration to live.com which I already use very heavily. (and if you aren't using Office Web Apps immediately get over to my blog article on Office Web Apps and read it--they are a game changer!!)
  • Live.com will automatically light up contacts, calenders, photos and email on your Windows Phone 7 device--wow!
  • Sharepoint integration (Sharepoint made to use on a mobile device)
  • Excellent Podcast player (Zune) built in. I don't listen to a lot of music but podcasts ALL the time.
  • Also via the web you can map, ring, lock or erase your WP7 device! Wow! Read More Here.
  • WP7 has the best Voice Recognition using TellMe View Video
 In short, I think this phone seems to get work and home mix right.

I just read an excellent review on Windows Phone 7 by a dedicated Android user who after playing with a WP7 device is seriously considering turning in his Android for a WP7!  Read it Here.