REDMOND, WA -- Microsoft this morning announced the release of its new "Fun Phone" Voice Mail system. The centerpiece of the $699 system is the "Conversation Cradle". Users place their phone handsets into the cradle, and select from two different messages:
- We're not home right now, please leave a message.
- I'm not home right now, please leave a a mesage.
The device then records a message from the caller. The message can be up to 20 seconds long, and the device can hold up to five messages.
Currently, the device only supports land line phones, but a cellular version is in the works. A Microsoft spokesperson told us: "adapting the device for cell phones will be a bit more problematic due to the various sizes and shapes of the phones".
Some early problems with the system saying "Blue screen! Blue Screen" instead of "We're not home right now ..." have been fixed in a downloadable firmware update.