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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Is Everything Mobile Going To Be A "Phone?"

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Windows Phone 7

I am somewhat surprised that the name given by Microsoft to its new mobile operating system platform is a "phone.'” After all, the term "phone" comes from the Greek word for "voice." The word “telephone” means "far voice." Just because the mobile device/system will handle voice applications, in addition to visual data, doesn't make it just a "phone!"

But maybe because Apple took the lead in calling their multimedia device the "iPhone," everything that can also handle voice applications will have "phone" in its name.

Of course, voice is just a piece of the “unified communications" picture, which enables application speech interfaces as well as real-time contextual voice contacts with people. But various forms of real-time text messaging are already replacing traditional phone calls, especially by online self-service applications that need timely contact with a specific person.

So, it’s really not just about voice coming into play here, but other mobile user interfaces as well!