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IP Communications

Interesting Stories April 27 2007

April 29, 2007

Skype Announcements at Communications Developer

April 28, 2007

I was just perusing an article on Skype development from Greg Galitzine which consists of an interview with head of development for the world’s most successful VoIP software company. The interview is with Paul Amery the Director of the Skype Developer Program.   Here are some of the salient comments from Paul:   The breadth of developers who work with Skype is extraordinary. They range from 15-year old techies who are coding in their bedrooms to CEOs with more than 30 years of experience developing software applications. The uniting factor is that they all love Skype, and constantly want us to enhance the platform to help them do more.   The most popular application [Skype Extra] overall is CrazyTalk for Skype from Reallusion.

Ed Whitacre Jr.

April 27, 2007

Congratulations to Ed Whitacre Jr. for building a great big telecommunications company from an assortment of smaller ones. Certainly in this case the sum was greater than the parts.   Ed is about to retire and he can consider this my retirement present.   While I have perhaps had a rant or two over the years about net neutrality comments made by Mr. Whitacre, there is not a single person who can deny this man has achieved greatness in the world of communications and technology.   Ed Whitacre Jr. put AT&T back together again and left it in great shape.   The Board of Directors has chosen Randall L. Stephenson, AT&T's chief operating officer, to succeed Whitacre as chairman and CEO.   Randall has tremendous shoes to fill and it may be very tough to keep AT&T’s massive momentum going without even more acquisitions. These could consist of content plays such as perhaps satellite radio, internet companies and even advertising networks. Yahoo!

Motorola: I Hate My Customers

April 27, 2007

Yesterday I was speaking to an influential PR representative who was implying one of his handset manufacturer customers was not really thrilled by the amount of power the wireless carriers wield. Generally this sort of talk is done behind the scenes but I have been noticing record levels of discontent among device-makers.   Perhaps this is the reason for my surprise at an article in the Wall Street Journal this morning where Motorola Ed Zander is on record as saying, “I love my job. I hate my customers.” It is surprising to see these thoughts going on record.   The article is a chronicle of how Motorola lost its top spot in the cell phone market and the soap opera that got them from where they were to where they are now.   The situation wireless handset manufacturers are in is similar to what Wal-Mart suppliers deal with as the nation’s largest retailer also dictates product specifications and pricing. I suppose you can’t blame wireless carriers for exerting their influence to do what is best for the bottom line.   Over the next few years as WiFi and WiMAX become more popular it will be interesting to see if consumers are swayed by a new generation of WiFi telephony devices and service providers subsidized by today’s handset manufacturers.

The Guy Who Won the FJ Cruiser

April 26, 2007

Mitel Acquires Inter-Tel

April 26, 2007

In a $723 Million transaction two of the leaders in the mid-market communications space have teamed up as Mitel has just acquired Inter-Tel. Both companies were very strong players in the mid-size PBX space and both were leaders in staying ahead of the technology curve   Going back to the days of CTI over a decade ago, Mitel and Inter-Tel are established players in IP communications and unified communications.   “We believe this is an outstanding transaction for our stakeholders,” said Inter-Tel CEO Norman Stout. “Mitel and Inter-Tel have state-of-the-art products and complementary channels to market. In particular, we are excited about the opportunities this partnership represents for Inter-Tel’s associates and partners, who we believe will benefit from being part of a larger, growing and dynamic organization that can compete more effectively in the marketplace. We look forward to working with the Mitel team to ensure a rapid and seamless transition.”

The combined company, including Inter-Tel international subsidiaries such as Inter-Tel Europe, Swan Solutions and Lake Communications, will have solutions to address the needs of very small to large businesses globally.

Bees Gone Wild

April 26, 2007

Greg has some thoughts on the bee problems and how Taiwan is being affected by bees who leave their hives and get lost on the way home. Last year at the Communications Developer Conference I joked onstage about the latest forms of IP communications and how pigeons would play an important role in providing mesh-based WiFi networks of the future.   It seems now we need a tiny IP-based bee-cam to be placed on bees allowing scientists to see where these bees are going. Some of the theories scientists are offering are power lines or cellular signals disrupting the bees natural ability to navigate.   Something I haven’t read about is pollution being a problem but pesticides and weather are other theories that have been posed.   But the bee problem seems to have become a problem last year and power lines and cell phone signals haven’t increased so much in the last year have they? Remember this is a worldwide problem it seems.   If it is a technology problem then it would have to be a new wireless technology.

Skype Developer Program

April 26, 2007

There is big communications developer news afoot as Skype announced over 10 million downloads of Skype Extras. These Extras are in fact software programs designed to integrate with Skype. Collaboration software and call recording are examples of products that are part of this program.   The most popular Skype Extra to date is Reallusion’s CrazyTalk for Skype, which has been downloaded by consumers more than 3.5 million times. For business users, the Pamela Call Recorder has been downloaded more than 1 million times.   It goes without saying that the past few years has seen the rise of ecosystems in the communications market.

Vonage Free to Compete

April 25, 2007

Sender ID Update

April 25, 2007

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