And what you'll see in our upcoming wireless work article is that voice and wireless are definitely headed for a collision. Straight wireless voice already exists, even from mainstream companies like Avaya or Toshiba. These are just VoIP handsets that connect to a PBX via 802.11x. But some of the cool stuff that Brian and I saw will allow you to assign a local office phone number to an employee's corporate cell phone and then have that phone seamlessly switch between a local 802.11 connection or a third-party cell network -- without dropping a continuing call.
We tested some stuff from a company called DiVitas, which is a great little company, though its PR rep seems to be a little infatuated with me. But the technology is here and clear today.
And companies such as Microsoft definitely see this trend rumbling down the pike. Windows Mobile 5.0 is set to rev to 6.0 sometime early next year. Meanwhile, Redmond is upgrading existing phone features such as Voice Command, which just went to 1.6. New features there include spoken e-mail notification, spoken caller ID, and voice-controlled system commands like system utilities, calendar lookups, and even media player. One the server side, Jamie Bernstein and I already tested out Exchange 2007 and found that it's been optimized for push e-mail delivery.
So 2007 may be the year of Vista and (hopefully) Longhorn, but once that stuff is settled, leveraging these new platforms for technical oomph, glitz, and job security is almost certainly going to push you in a wireless direction. So take advantage of the lull and get your Wi-Fi networking ducks in a row now.
Read more about networking in InfoWorld's Networking Channel.