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Posts from August 2005

Time To Rise Beyond The Basics

Om in a long post talks about commodity voice and the declining ARPU. I say what I have been saying all along. The money is in the APPS, not the minutes. People have already demonstrated they will pay for features that give them benefits. That's the real future of VoIP.

Let's look at how we got here:

First it was price. Then it was IM. The upstarts like Vonage, Packet8 and Broadvoice all offered VoIP based on price as the big differentiator. Then came AT&T CallVantage which combined price with new features and services. Along came AOL, the cable MSOs and a host of others and we have what we have today, PSTN replacement for less money.

Stage Two of the VoIP revolution came via SKYPE, even though AOL via ICQ, Yahoo with Messenger and MSN and Microsoft with Messenger were already in the space with voice capabilities (does anyone recall when h.323 worked with Windows Messenger?). But Skype timed it right, and road the broadband, more connected wave when the other guys missed the boat and had to jump back in.

Now lets look at stage three-->

I'm personally getting more intrigued with the next generation of Voice over the Internet which is application based.. Companies like TelEvolution with their PhoneGnome and Popular Telephony have forged into new territories. SiPPhone, a company I hear is in play and may be bought soon, also has looked at how to make telephony different, less costly and more useful. The big challenge right now is how the legacy carriers react and what they do. Yahoo is already working with Verizon and SBC here in the USA (likely meaning AT&T's CallVantage gets sold as part of a Yahoo/SBC dsl bundle as an upsell).

The use of price will still attract some, but the real money will be made with the invention and deployment of the next Voice Mail, three way calling and call waiting types of apps hit the market. They will have to work with my landline, my VoIP phone, softphone, cellphone and anything that lets me talk to someone.

Wondering Why MSN Bought Teleo?

Erik raises the question why Microsoft bought Teleo. My guess is there is something in the patents that Teleo has filed that was attractive enough to make them feel they have a reason to own it beyond deploying it as a front end to MSN Messenger. Teleo had originally made claims that they were a P2P VoIP play, but in the Microsoft announcement that was nowhere to be seen.

I continue to think there is some aspect of this that blends into the Live Communications Server side of the equation and also some ties to protecting Click To Dial.

Om Was Right Teleo Goes To Microsoft

Two months ago or so Om predicted that Teleo would be bought by Microsoft. Well that day has arrived.

The announcement, which is meaningless in the long run, indicates that the Teleo technology will be part of MSN Messenger. I think that's just some of MSFT's stock in trade of throwing the competition off in the wrong direction. I actually think more of the Teleo thought process will be used with Live Communications Server than with MSN.

I don't think Skype or Yahoo are scared by this move either. But Vonage and others using click to dial may have to be, if any of the intellectual property that MSFT now own includes that.

Blog Slow Down

I'm seeing not much in the way of news. Vonage? Skype? Google? All that happened last week. Next week, after Labor Day and all I expect things will heat up.

Google Making You Unsafe?

If Google is doing what Skype is doing and turning your PC into a server is that opening you up to being hacked? More important, if your PC is a server doesn't that make many of us in violation of our TOS (term of service) agreements with the cable providers? Hat tip to Tom Keating and James Seng!!

Tom On New Cisco Video Phone

Pal Tom Keating @ TMC has the lowdown on the new, soon to be released Cisco Videophone.

Tom's point about all video phone's needing to be interoperable is key. I guess though it will take Google to create a Video Federation too before that happens.