Microsoft: Unplugging Phones, Dialing ThinkPads?
A rather interesting rumor just landed in The VAR Guy’s voicemail. A trusted source claims Microsoft is gradually unplugging its corporate phones and transitioning many employees to Lenovo ThinkPads running Microsoft Office Communicator. Is Unified Communications about to invade Microsoft’s Redmond, Wash., campus? Here’s the (alleged) scoop.
First, a little background: Lenovo appears to be the rare company that is getting cozy with both Microsoft and rival Cisco Systems in recent months.
One the one hand, Lenovo is quietly negotiating a partnership with Cisco Systems that could deliver a one-two punch (computers and networking) against Hewlett-Packard.
On the other hand, if you look hard enough you’ll discover several ThinkPads have earned the “Optimized for Microsoft Office Communicator” certification. To the best of The VAR Guy’s knowledge, no other PC makers have earned that designation from Microsoft.
Check Your Voicemail
Now that you’ve got the background, let’s shift to the rumor at hand: A trusted source says Microsoft is unplugging its corporate phones and transitioning to ThinkPads running Microsoft Office Communicator.
Back in April 2009, Gurdeep Singh Pall (corporate VP for Microsoft Unified Communications Group) predicted desktop phones would soon die and be replaced by soft phones. Pall delivered the prediction at VoiceCon Orlando 2009. Apparently, Pall’s peers within Microsoft’s IT department got the message.
The VAR Guy has a call into Microsoft seeking comment. When he hears back from the software giant, The VAR Guy will be sure to ask if the caller is dialing in from a ThinkPad.
Meanwhile, the other half of the former Wintel duopoly also seems to be embracing Lenovo. The VAR Guy hears Intel is standardizing on ThinkPads — though the chip giant isn’t quite ready to unplug its phones.