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AOL TotalTalk

I've held off for a few days to catch up on my thoughts about AOL's TotalTalk, their version of VoIP for beyond AOL's customers.

First one has to look at AOL as a company to understand what they are attempting to do. They want to change what they are and who they server. Their new offering, which provides integration with the IM client, AIM, is a major step forward for VOIP. Sadly, there isn't a MAC client yet, but I'll hopefully be testing it in a week or so on one of the PCs here in the office.

I'm overall pleased with the direction is going. They are beginning to move in the direction of what I call "Me Different" but their move into IM integration of VoIP service is not something they will be able to defend. Yahoo, now with Jeff Bonaforte (ex SipPhone) and Craig Walker (ex Dialpad) on board have the same plans.

The difference is that AOL's IM installed user base is reportedly bigger in the USA.

Second AOL went in a different direction, building a state of the art client with Pingtel, GIPS and On2, the latter for video, that will push the envelope in that realm.

Overall I think AOL's VoIP platform is in a transitionary phase. Guiding light, Jim Tobin has left for Comcast, something that makes me think that more will be happening there really soon, and he's been replaced by Alex Terry as GM and Mr. Ragui Kamel to run the overall group. Terry has been there for a while, while Kamel, a well spoken and insightful executive senior positions with both Nortel and Telecordia on his CV.