A few weeks ago Tom Keating over at TMCNet did a write up on how the Grandstream GXV3140 multimedia phone will soon be supporting Skype. If you’re unfamiliar with the Grandstream GXV3140 it’s a next generation multimedia phone that offers both voice and video calling in addition to a host of other advanced features.

While this Skype integration isn’t officially available to the general public, the move by Skype to allow multimedia phone manufacturer’s (like Grandstream) to embed Skype functionality into their offerings is a logical one. A strong signal that Skype wishes to be more than just an afterthought when it comes to business communications.

After all most folks in the business world are still apprehensive that Skype can function as their primary communications medium.

But with handset manufacturers desperate to preserve high price points, robust multimedia phones will continue to hit the market. Today every major handset manufacturer has a multimedia phone offering and you’d be hard pressed to think that partnering with Skype isn’t on their roadmap at somepoint.

Perhaps an even bigger driver than multimedia capable handsets for Skype is the growing demand for video conferencing solutions. Given that current video conferencing offerings are limited in many respects by price and complexity, having the convenience and  low cost of Skype paired with your normal VoIP service could be a boon for manufacturers (and Skype).

Regardless of the drivers and despite a fully functional public release, there is no doubt that Skype’s move to the desktop IP phone has the potential to be very disruptive. Something they’ve proven time and time again to very good at.

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