Cloud Net, the small business phone systems provider, believes that Microsoft’s cancelling of its Response Point VoIP PBX is further evidence that small businesses are looking for simple all inclusive business VoIP packages with hardware included and the ability to buy directly from the service provider.
Microsoft announced in a post on its website that it would end sales, development, and support for its small business phone system – Response Point – on August 31, 2010.
Microsoft’s announcement comes just three years after its Response Point system was launched in a blaze of publicity. According to Microsoft at the time of launch, only about one-third of small businesses used PBXs (or switchboards) because they were expensive and difficult to install and manage. Microsoft saw this as an opportunity to make phone systems as accessible to small businesses as PCs.
In 2007 they said “The Microsoft Response Point System will be available this year. Microsoft is not yet disclosing the pricing, but it would be “competitive” with typical small-business PBXs that cost from about $5,000 to more than $10,000”. Its Response Point software was used by several phone makers, including Quanta, whose system was sold for a time at Costco.com.
“We believe that while Microsoft’s VoIP service was technically sound, small businesses want above all simplicity and clear pricing. At Cloud Net, we are simplifying the purchase and use of internet based PBX systems. Our Cloud Net Connect users are not bamboozled with a large number of hardware, software and reseller options. All the main call features and a phone are included for a one off monthly fee, starting from £8.50. It is not difficult to see why even a giant such as Microsoft could not sell a VoIP system that required customers to approach resellers and may have been difficult to configure for small business owners”, commented David Hill, Chairman, Cloud Net.
“We are confident that our conscientious investment into our business and consumer VoIP service will lead our customers to agree that our internet phone service offers the best features and quality currently in the marketplace”, added Charles Chance, Managing Director of Cloud Net.
Cloud Net is not aware of any UK-based Microsoft Response Point customers currently but the company believes that its business VoIP system is the most comprehensive on the market today. There is no capital outlay required and, with a 30-day money back period, no risk involved either. Customers will benefit from a powerful internet phone system with a low-cost, inclusive subscription model. And because it’s internet-based and updated automatically, the system is always state-of-the-art.
Microsoft’s decision to pull out of the VoIP market follows a similar decision by Tesco, in April 2010, which left its VoIP customers without a product offering.