Polycom PC Phone

Polycom has announced the Computer Calling Kit, an option for their SoundStation2 and SoundStation2W (wireless) conference phones which the vendor says gives callers voice quality, clarity and hands-free capability when using web-based calling services, including those from Skype, Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo, and softphones.

The Computer Calling Kit enables the conference phones to serve as the microphone and speaker for web-based calling services, softphones, and is compatible with Polycom PVX for desktop video calls.

“Use of Internet calling services and softphones is growing rapidly in business environments, creating demand for a high-quality, hands-free calling experience,” said Sunil Bhalla, senior vice president and general manager of voice communications at Polycom. “The Computer Calling Kit enables an ideal voice conferencing environment when making phone calls over the Internet using the SoundStation2 and SoundStation2W. This option offers added flexibility for the Polycom phones, which can be used on regular analog phone lines, mobile phone networks and now with Internet calling services and softphones.”

Use of web-based calling services has grown rapidly both among consumers and in business settings. For example, Skype claims more than 53 million users of its free Internet calling service and estimates nearly 30 percent have used it in a business environment. Polycom is addressing this growing demand by enabling users to leverage the market-leading SoundStation2 and SoundStation2W conference phones for enhanced sound quality and enabling them to use these web-based services in a meeting environment when there is typically more than one person in the room.

The Computer Calling Kit includes a cable that connects a PC to the built-in Applications Port on the SoundStation2 and SoundStation2W phones. Users simply plug the phone into the computer and dial using their Internet calling client, softphone or PVX application. The conference phone serves as the speakers and microphone for the calls, offering a richer voice calling experience. There is no special software needed and it can be used with any type of computer with standard audio input and output ports, including Windows, Mac and Linux.

Pricing and availability:
The Computer Calling Kit is now available through Polycom Channel Partners. The kit is an option for SoundStation2 with display and SoundStation2 EX phones, as well as all SoundStation2W phones. The kit will be included with all SoundStation2W EX phones beginning later in 2005. Customers who purchased the SoundStation2W EX between September 1, 2005 and December 31, 2005 can get a voucher for a free Computer Calling Kit from their channel partner or from the Polycom web site.

Polycom reserves the right to modify future product plans at any time. Products and/or related specifications referenced in this press release are not guaranteed, and will be delivered on a when and if available basis.

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