Windows XP: A SIP VoIP implementation that works
Many conversations among the voice-over-IP cognoscenti who have cycled through our labs recently turned to the new Windows XP operating system and its embedded Session Initiation Protocol stack.
A cursory tire kicking during our recent SIP-H.323 interoperability testing left us with the distinct impression that Microsoft has a SIP-based voice-over-IP implementation that actually works.
While most of the network industry is busy shaking its collective head at XP's well-chronicled security debacles, voice-over-IP professionals are positioning their products for the real opportunities Microsoft's SIP move will soon present.
Our take on what this all means follows:
Because Windows is well established as a third-party call control platform (for example, Cisco CallManager runs on a Windows 2000 platform), we wouldn't be surprised to start seeing embedded Windows versions on IP phones in the near future.
Cisco, Alcatel and Siemens have hedged their bets by allocating development resources for H.323 and SIP. Microsoft's endorsement will do much to move more development resources to SIP. A victory for SIP means moving intelligence out of the core and into the endpoints. Right up Microsoft's alley.
In our travels, we used to laugh when SIP enthusiasts called H.323 "legacy voice over IP." We're not laughing any more.
Smithers is president of Miercom, a network consultancy in Princeton Junction, N.J., and a member of the Network World Test Alliance. He can be reached at email@example.com.