For most users, the telephone and computing infrastructures remain disconnected. However, there is a renewed interest in combining both of these end-user communication points, partly due to the growing interest in voice over IP and desktop conferencing.
“Although we are skeptical that most users will actually end up combining their trusty telephones with their PCs, there are definite areas for synergy — particularly in the access to complex voice mail and conferencing features,” said Steve Kleynhans, vice president with META Group’s Technology Research Services. “We expect PC access to dialing — as well as integration of voice mail — and e-mail inboxes to become commonplace by 2006.”
User environments are growing increasingly complex. Unified inboxes, real-time information feeds, and instant messaging require information displays that are continually available, which drives a need for more screen real estate. Increasing screen real estate through multiple monitors has been common in high-value environments such as traders’ desks or operations consoles.
“Web conferencing is an example where multiple monitors could be immediately beneficial to a large number of users,” said Kleynhans. “A user often has a presentation displayed on one screen, while taking notes or chatting with participants on another screen. Arranging multiple windows on a single monitor is awkward and limiting, whereas having dual monitors would make it much easier. By 2006, we expect 40% of new information worker environments to include dual monitors.”