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Microsoft has released its first phone -- the Microsoft Cordless Phone, to be precise, designed for PC users "seeking a convenient, versatile tool for managing home-based personal and business calls", according to the company. That, of course, easily describes every other phone on the planet, but we'll let that pass. The kit comprises a cordless handset, recharging station and a receiver that connects to both the phone system and the user's PC. Software running on the PC -- Microsoft Call Manager -- provides a voice recognition system -- presumably courtesy of Lernout & Hauspie, the voice recognition specialist in which Microsoft has a stake -- to access its features via the handset. It will easily recognise different users without being trained, Microsoft claims. The software can also be set up to provide a multi-account voice mail system. "The Microsoft Cordless Phone System will revolutionise the way busy families, professionals and home entrepreneurs manage their important phone calls and messages," enthused a hopelessly hyperbolic Rick Thompson, VP of Microsoft's hardware division. A wireless-aware Register staffer adds: The blessed thing is US-only anyway. It operates at 900 MHz, the frequency decent folk use for GSM digital, and if Microsoft tried to sell it at 1800 MHz on DECT in Europe, against perfectly adequate phone-based systems at half the price, it'd just get laughed at. ® Click for more stories

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