Got this missive from Harry Brelsford at SMB PC Magazine:
Earlier this week I had an exclusive interview with John Frederiksen, general manager in Microsoft’s Startup Business Group (led by Microsoft executive Amit Mital). Frederiksen oversees the Microsoft Response Point small business telephone system business and is one of its only employees. As you can read in my detailed blog HERE, Frederiksen cut to the chase in announcing that Microsoft Response Point will be discontinued as of August 31, 2010 and withdrawn from the market at that date. Its OEM partners have been briefed on this announcement and, as you read this, key Microsoft Partners are being notified.
And I'm sure you can track all the discussion of this and more over at Telephonation.com.
As for me . . . I don't have much to say on this one. I have never been impressed with the product. It seemed to me to compete very well with ten year old Panasonic systems I could buy on ebay. But compared to every other phone option built in the last ten years it just wasn't ready for prime time.
Will Microsoft step into this market again? Of Course! But next time they'll use a strategy that works for them: Buy a successful company, integrate it with the amazing stuff Microsoft is already doing correctly, and take it to the next level.
Rest assured. Microsoft is not out of the phone business. They're just out of the Response Point business.