Converged, Maybe, But Still Not Very Interesting
from the it-slices-it-dices-it-does-it-all dept
Microsoft announced a “multimedia” partnership with France Telecom earlier in July, saying the two companies would develop new telecommunications services that merged all sorts of telecom, PC and internet technologies, even bringing up the idea that they might come up with a modern version of the revolutionary Minitel. But if France Telecom’s latest convergence offering (developed before the MS alliance) is anything to go by, they’ve got their work cut out for them. The IHT says “the most interesting” of the new converged services is a Wi-Fi phone that uses VoIP — something that’s not likely to blow away too many people, particularly anybody that’s ever seen one of any number of commercial VoIP services hooked up to a decent cordless phone. The phone also checks email and can display news, weather and sports information, which is slightly odd, since it comes as part of a triple-play package with TV and Internet service. But, never fear, France Telecom says it’s working on its own version of BT’s converged mobile/landline product, Bluephone, itself a prime example of a product converged for the sake of convergence.