jewel_collageWell, Mcirosoft has done it. They've released the long awaited OCS 2007. Here's my take on why Microsoft OCS will disappoint users and pundits and Micosoft.

First of all, [[Microsoft]] is not [[Apple]].

Microsoft is not an innovator. They are a market follower imitating a leader. Apple is an innovator capable of creating a new market where none existed. Microsoft's development methodology and business style (Office, Xbox, Mobile, MSN, Live…) are all about entering a market and grabbing share by brute force. 

Secondly of all, it's a saturated market.

Over the past decade, probably $1 billion has been invested in VoIP and VoIP-related products and product categories:

  • revamping digital PBXs as hybrid digital-IP PBX (NEC, Mitel and Nortel BCM)
  • invested in hosted VoIP services (Nortel MCS 5200, Broadsoft, Sylantro, Sonus, Intelliverse, Packet8, AccessLine and others)
  • invested in pure-play IP PBXs (Cisco, 3Com, Sphere)
  • invested in open source IP PBX (Asterisk, SIPexchange)

Thirdly, there are no major platforms on Microsoft OS.

Although some vendors (Cisco, Nortel, Mitel) inroduced theiroriginal market entries on Microsoft OS, they have all moved onto morestable and less costly platforms. The competition will use Microsoft'sweaknesses in real-time OS deployments to make the point that it's weak.

Fourthly, Microsoft is building its offer on top of its offer, on top of its offer, on top of its offer.

It'sa pyramid of market share, which as I've seen before, will lead tominiscule market share in the grand scheme of things. Being the largestprovider of VoIP licenses running on Microsoft OS servers is hardly avalid market claim of superiority. 

Fourthly, Microsoft is entering a slow-growth market.

Enterprise VoIP is not an exploding market. It's hard for customersto change the tires on the car while driving down the highway at 60miles an hour, so they don't make changes very fast.

Fifthly, Microsoft is not introducing anything new, just Microsoft proprietary.

Give me a break. Microsoft introduces software! is not a headline. Microsoft introduces software-based VoIP is not news. 

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