by Allan Sulkin
Published December 2001
The market for IP-PBXs is still defining itself, and shipments of IP telephones are a very small percentage of total PBX station shipments. That said, however, IP telephone technology and offerings are evolving at a fast paceóthere have been three generations of IP phones since IP PBXs hit the market about three years ago.
The first generation closely resembled traditional digital telephones in appearance and basic functions. The second generation delivered a new set of features and function attributes, such as pixel displays and integrated Ethernet switch ports.
As the third generation of IP phones begins to make its appearance, itís clear that the familiar desktop telephone is evolving from a voice-only instrument to a mixed-media IP appliance. During the next year, most IP-PBX suppliers will offer models that support features and capabilities such as Web browsers, touch screens, 1/4 VGA monitor color display fields, WAP and infra-red (I/R) interfaces and USB interface ports.
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