Cisco Systems plans to finally adopt a key Internet Protocol telephony standard, allowing the addition of new network-service features and enabling companies such as Microsoft to integrate their communications products with Cisco gear.

Cisco had been the only major supplier in the market not to support SIP in its IP PBX software. Cisco sees the addition of SIP as an important step in being able to provide customers more features.

As part of the announcement this week, Cisco said it is working with Microsoft to integrate its Office Communicator 2005 and Office Live Communications with Cisco's Unified Communications System. The integration means that users can launch a VoIP conversation directly from their Microsoft Outlook client. The interoperable package should be available in August 2006, the companies said.

Now this is becoming more interesting!.. I used icall this morning and they are giving free calls to USA and canada... nice nice