Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Yahoo! Messenger With Free Voicemail Service....Just Launched

Just released today Yahoo! Messenger With Voice has upgraded IP phone capability- "far more extensive than the hitch-a-ride over IM functionality characteristic of this and other IM programs" (sic Russell Shaw ZDNet).

Here’s just a few observations:

- Redesigned to be SIP-based.

- Supports PC to PC voice calling using SIP software licensed from RADVision and XTen (no word on Mac compatibility yet)

- The client will be integrated with Yahoo 360 which provides blogging and music content, among other things.

- Perhaps coolest of all-FREE voicemail.

- Nothing of Dialpad is integrated yet.

This new capability comes in two flavors. Both are accessed via the newly expanded Actions tab:

* Call Computer lets you, well, call other PCs similarly equipped with Yahoo! Messenger.

* Place A Net2Phone Call brings up a Call Center softphone. Dialing rates range are 2 cents a minute in the U.S. and 3.9 cents a minute in Canada. Foreign per-minute rates are generally slightly higher than some other softphone services.

Given that Yahoo! announced its purchase of softphone provider DialPad two months ago, you have to wonder if or when Yahoo! Messenger With Voice's existing Net2Phone softphone partnership and UI will be replaced with a DialPad interface.

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