I'll take the chicken, the cornflakes, and an IP-PBX

Costco Wholesale CorporationImage via WikipediaNo, really. Read this:

"Microsoft Response Point Phone System Retails on Costco.com
Response Point small-business phone system from hardware manufacturer Quanta Computer is now available for purchase directly from Costco.com.

REDMOND, Wash. — May 28, 2008 — Microsoft Response Point, an easy-to-use voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) phone system designed uniquely for the needs of small businesses (one to 50 employees), is now available to purchase on Costco.com, a leading global retailer. Costco.com will now offer the award-winning Syspine Digital Operator Phone System from Quanta Computer Inc. featuring Microsoft Response Point phone system software.
“A small-business owner does a little of everything — CEO, accountant and IT trouble-shooter — all before lunch,” said Richard Sprague, senior director, Response Point at Microsoft Corp. “Costco.com’s easy online purchase process, combined with Response Point’s easy setup and intuitive magic blue button for voice dialing, gives the small-business owner another easy way to gain a powerful communications tool to help grow his or her business.”

You have GOT to be kidding me. I first thought that it was April 1st, but then, well... It's a good thing (TM) that IP is making its way into low-end telephony, but I would - and that's just me - have reservations buying my business critical hardware at Costco. Support, anyone?

It's probably too early to say - and, to be honest, I really want one of these to play around with - http://www.syspine.com/ - but I really, really hope that this will be marketed properly - as a small business or prosumer only system, with decent support and reliable and tested upgrades and replacement parts.

Otherwise, I'm afraid we'll just go back to the "IP telephony isn't ready for primetime" and "it has horrible voice quality" and "it keeps breaking up", and, and, and... Well, at least it's got G.711.



Chris said...

I've been looking for a place to post some opinions on Microsoft Response Point Phone System. My office just installed it and it is awful. Just plain bad. Voice only goes one way at a time---walkie-talkie style--- so if somebody is talking while you are talking, you can't hear a word they say. I believe vice-versa is true as well. And it has a nagging beep when a call is coming in on another line. Of course, when it beeps, the people on the other line are not able to hear you talking. Aaargh. Such a frustratingly awful phone system.