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VoIP Systems

Microsoft Buys a Second VOIP Firm

Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) said Thursday it will acquire Zurich-based VOIP application developer media-streams.com AG for an undisclosed amount, marking the software giant’s second acquisition this year in the telecom space. (See Microsoft Buys VOIP Developer.)

Microsoft plans to build the media-streams VOIP technology into its Live Communications Server, the "real-time collaboration" platform in the Microsoft Office suite. (See PointOne Links IM, VOIP and Nortel, Microsoft Team Up.)

The acquisition is part of the software giant’s efforts to bring together voice, email, short message service (SMS), and audio/video conferencing on one dashboard.

“We are in lock-step with Microsoft’s vision of bringing voice and data collaboration together," says media-streams.com CEO Erich Gebhardt in a statement. "We have built our business around delivering enhanced real-time communications for enterprise and small to midsize customers."

Microsoft and media-streams are not disclosing the financial terms of the deal, and people from Microsoft's Real Time Collaboration Group did not respond to requests for comment Thursday.

Media-streams now becomes a subsidiary of Microsoft’s three-year-old Real Time Collaboration Group. For the time being, the media-streams VOIP product will be sold by Microsoft on a standalone basis, according to media-streams, while the technology is integrated into Microsoft Office products.

While no specifics are available yet, Microsoft may use its new VOIP property to integrate voice service deep into other Microsoft Office applications like Powerpoint or Word.

The acquisition marks Microsoft’s second acquisition of a VOIP company this year. In July, the company bought San Francisco-based VOIP startup Teleo, which developed PC-based residential VOIP technology similar to that of Skype Technologies SA. (See Microsoft Buys Teleo.)

— Mark Sullivan, Reporter, Light Reading

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