What About Those Microsoft Echoes

[qi:090] Microsoft Corp., in its effort to woo telecoms has come up with yet another project, Echoes, a services platform that will likely to be sold to telecom carriers. It combines Microsoft’s Live Messenger, with over the air syncing of people’s address books with presence and gift wraps it as unified communications platform.

Mary Joe Foley points out that Bill Gates has been referring to Echoes in his speeches recently. Echoes was incubated by Microsoft Israel Research’s Corporate Vice President Moshe Lichtman and is being developed by Microsoft’s Israeli Strategic Development Center, Foley reports. According to one of her sources, the new platform will be able to:

  • Syncs Address book contacts over the air.
  • Ensure that IM messages work seamlessly with SMS.
  • Windows Live Messenger contacts get local numbers.
  • Voice calls from Messenger on PC to mobiles.
  • Some sort of presence.

Skype, GrandCentral and others already deliver many of these services. From that perspective there is nothing new here, except for the need of being tied to Microsoft’s platforms. Echoes’ outlines Microsoft’s biggest challenges: the inordinate amount of time they spend on developing products that are either a platform or a suite forces them to make too many compromises. One can’t blame the company whose DNA is Windows (Platform) & a Suite (Office.) This is a malady which makes them unable to move ahead and define the future.