Microsoft and open source company duel over IP telephony

Things are getting tense in the business telephony world. Microsoft is heading for a face-off with the increasingly influential open source company Digium. Both companies are launching competing phone systems for small businesses at the VON 07 trade show in San Jose, California.

In the world of products uniting the worlds of VOIP and traditional telephony, Digium is the more established of the two players, with its open source Asterisk software built into a wide range of products and used by more than two million users.

Until now Digium has concentrated on enterprises and telecommunications providers, with the Asterisk software having become a de facto standard for any company selling x86-based products that combine IP and analog telephony.

At VON the company aimed to extend its reach by introducing an appliance aimed specifically at smaller businesses and branch offices.

The Asterisk Appliance, with no moving parts, no fan and supporting up to 50 users, will be available from Digium or its partners in early May, with prices starting at US$995.

The appliance includes Asterisk Business Edition software and Digium hardware, and supports both VOIP and traditional analog phones. The system runs on Linux.

It includes a full-featured PBX, with voice response, voicemail, conferencing, automatic call distribution and call queuing. It can be administered through a setup wizard and supports autoprovisioning of Polycom IP phones. Digium had a strong presence at VON, with founder and CTO Mark Spencer giving a keynote speech and a number of vendors showing Asterisk-compatible products.

Meanwhile, Microsoft is aiming to better establish itself in the game with a system called Syspine, based on the company’s Response Point software, which will be offered through OEMs Quanta Computer, D-Link and Uniden. Syspine is a direct competitor to Asterisk Appliance, intended for smaller businesses, with no moving parts or fan, and intended to be simple to set up and administer – users should be able, for instance, to add numbers for new employees without any specialized knowledge.

Syspine will begin beta testing next month and become available later in the year.

Would you recommend this article?


Thanks for taking the time to let us know what you think of this article!
We'd love to hear your opinion about this or any other story you read in our publication.

Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

Featured Download

Featured Articles

Empowering the hybrid workforce: how technology can build a better employee experience

Across the country, employees from organizations of all sizes expect flexibility...

What’s behind the best customer experience: How to make it real for your business

The best customer experience – the kind that builds businesses and...

Overcoming the obstacles to optimized operations

Network-driven optimization is a top priority for many Canadian business leaders...

Thriving amid Canada’s tech talent shortage

With today’s tight labour market, rising customer demands, fast-evolving cyber threats...

Staying protected and compliant in an evolving IT landscape

Canadian businesses have changed remarkably and quickly over the last few...

Related Tech News

Tech Jobs

Our experienced team of journalists and bloggers bring you engaging in-depth interviews, videos and content targeted to IT professionals and line-of-business executives.

Tech Companies Hiring Right Now