Come April 2009, Microsoft will discontinue the availability of its unified communications and collaboration solutions. The Redmond company announced that RoundTable would no longer be available for enterprise customers to purchase starting next month, and that it would be replaced with Polycom CX5000 Unified Conference Station. According to the software giant, the Polycom CX5000 is scheduled for availability starting on April 13, 2009, and it will feature a price tag of $4,300. Once Polycom CX5000 is launched in 27 countries worldwide, with shipments planned for debut in late April, the Redmond company will no longer offer RoundTable.
“Microsoft and Polycom share a long-standing, strategic relationship in the unified communications space, and we are confident in Polycom’s depth of experience and customer support in the conferencing market,” explained Gurdeep Singh Pall, corporate vice president in the Unified Communications Group at Microsoft. “Our vision to make RoundTable available to more people in more countries has been realized with the introduction of the Polycom CX5000 Unified Conferencing Station, and shows further evidence of Microsoft’s commitment to a software platform that enables device innovation.”
The software giant's perspective over the retirement of its unified communications and collaboration solutions is that the CX5000 Unified Conference Station is in fact the evolution of Microsoft RoundTable. The introduction of CX5000 comes as Polycom managed to license the distribution of RoundTable. And just as RoundTable, CX5000 is designed to integrate seamlessly with Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 and Microsoft Office Live Meeting service.
“Our collaboration with Microsoft is a key component of Polycom’s vision to provide our customers with unified communications endpoints that embody the high quality for which Polycom is known,” added Sunil Bhalla, senior vice president and general manager of Voice Communications Solutions at Polycom. “With our expertise in enterprise collaboration and our broad distribution network, it makes perfect sense for us to incorporate the CX5000 into our family of devices optimized for Microsoft UC solutions. We look forward to our continued relationship with Microsoft and the benefits this will bring our joint customers.”