Jangl & TalkPlus Spell VoIP Troubles Ahead?

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Jangl & TalkPlus Spell VoIP Troubles Ahead?

Om over at GigaOm writes that Jangl was looking to sell itself earlier this week and is "headed towards an ignominious end" and adds that Talkplus "is going nowhere fast". I wrote a detailed write-up on TalkPlus, interviewing TalkPlus CEO Jeff Black at ITEXPO and my biggest fascination was how the supposedly reverse engineered Skype. I wrote, "One final interesting thing we talked about at ITEXPO is that TalkPlus has built their own Skype gateway. In fact, when pressed further, Jeff mentioned they actually reverse engineered Skype's protocol. Although the Skype gateway isn't part of TalkPlus's launch today, Jeff explained that they have tested it in their labs and it's working very well."

The TalkPlus Java application was designed to allow you to view the presence of your Skype buddies, initiate a Skype call or even receive a Skype call. It even has SIP support with the ability to support other IM/VoIP clients such as Google Talk, AIM, MSN Messenger, etc.

It was cool technology, but perhaps a bit ahead of its time. One of the biggest features espoused by Jeff Black was "throwaway numbers". As I wrote previously, you can ditch a number if need be. Doctors or lawyers that are calling patients/clients can use their personal mobile phone and yet have their office CallerID number appear to the client/patient instead of their personal mobile number. In essence, this is a form of "CallerID spoofing", often a popular tactic used by hackers utilizing the Asterisk platform.

Does the fall of Jangl and if Om is correct, the fall of TalkPlus spell trouble for VoIP/Voice 2.0 applications? Maybe we're not ready for VoIP applications. Maybe we just want cheap minutes. Maybe "it's the cheap voice, stupid!" after all. Hmph... VoIP just got boring.


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