Combining the Power of the Computer with the Functionality of the Telephone
Initially, the desktop computer was a personal productivity tool - first through the use of spreadsheets and word processing programs, and later with additional tools such as databases, project managers, presentation packages, and personal information managers. Then LANs interconnected desktop computers within workgroups and departments and allowed people to share information and resources. This expanded the role of the desktop computer to support collaborative efforts. In addition, LANs allowed people within a workgroup to communicate electronically, further expanding the role of desktop computers to communicate business information.
The next major step in the evolution of the desktop computer is to combine it with one of the most basic business tools--the telephone. Intel Corporation and Microsoft corporation, in cooperation with many major telecommunications, PC, and software companies, have created a standard interface - the Windows(TM) Telephony Application Programming Interface - for the integration of personal computers and telephones within the Microsoft Windows* operating system.
This API brings the utility and almost limitless reach of the telephone to the desktop computer. In fact, with the availability of cellular telephone technology, the capabilities are not even limited to the desktop.