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Microsoft Vows to VoIP

Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report) will make it easier to make telephone calls over the Internet by adding so-called VoIP technology to its products, the company's CEO said Monday.

"We are going to enter the voice-over IP market in the beginning of next year," Steve Ballmer said at a Microsoft conference in Tokyo, according to a report by the Associated Press.

Ballmer said his company will incorporate VoIP across the company's operating system, desktop applications and server software. He added that it would be unified with email, video and instant messaging. Microsoft has previously released software with VoIP functionality, but the technology was not uniformly available in many of the company's applications.

AP also reported that Ballmer said the company will not wait five years to introduce the version of Windows that will succeed Vista. Vista, the successor to XP, will be released in two stages -- first to large business customers at the end of November, and then to consumers in late January. The long-delayed operating system will reach the market five years after XP.

"We will never have a five-year gap between releases again," Ballmer said.

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