Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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Aastralink RP Debut Coincides with Microsoft Response Point SP1 release

July 8, 2008

As I wrote back in March, the Microsoft Response Point Service Pack 1 (SP1) release would coincide with Aastra's Response Point phone system debut, which is interesting when you consider Aastra got into the IP-PBX game with a Microsoft IP-PBX competitor - the AastraLink Pro 160 appliance, an Asterisk IP-PBX derivative. Well, today marks the launch of Microsoft Response Point SP1 and the Aastra Response Point system aptly named the AastraLink RP.

Before I go into the AastraLink RP, let me first mention that the Microsoft Response Point Service Pack 1 is available as a free download to current Response Point users. Secondly, the announcement is being made at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2008. I'm told, "a very special senior Microsoft executive will make an appearance to help announce." I would have guessed it will be Bill Gates's but he retired recently on June 27th.

Sangoma Acquires Paraxip Technologies

July 7, 2008

Sangoma has acquired Paraxip Technologies giving Sangama a broader communications play than just offering telephony boards for Asterisk-based solutions.  Sangoma is positioning the news as a new foothold in the Windows Unified Communications and IP Contact Center markets.

This kind of reminds me of Aastra which first started offering IP-phones used in Asterisk, trixbox, FreePBX, etc. but then launched the Aastra Aastralink Pro 160 Appliance, making Aastra a 'competitor' to IP-PBX platforms such as Digium's Asterisk, trixbox, etc. Similarly, by Sangoma acquiring Paraxip Technologies, they get their entire NetBorder product line, which enables IP telephony applications such as IP-PBXs, IVRs, call center routing, outbound dialers, and more. Obviously, the IP-PBX and call center functionality is a direct shot across the bow of some of their IP-PBX partners that use Sangoma hardware.

fring Enhances Mobile IM Client with fringAdd-ons

July 1, 2008

fring claims that since they opened their API last Monday that hundreds of apps were submitted "proving that there's an insatiable appetite in the U.S. for new mobile widgets and add-ons."  In the past week, fring has approved four of these submitted apps/widgets which will be announced tomorrow.

Today, fring announces new fringAdd-on applications for social networking, video streaming and email notification specifically for Facebook, Google's social networking site Orkut, VTap and Gmail. Essentially any web developer can develop a fringAdd-on just by heading on over to Only basic knowledge of PHP & XML is required.

Microsoft Drops VoIP from Windows Live Messenger

June 26, 2008

Just saw this article that reiterates Microsoft's decision last year that the existing VoIP partnership with Verizon would be terminating in 2008. (See 2006 launch of Windows Live Messenger w/ Verizon deal) As of today you can use Windows Live Messenger users to make regular landline and mobile phone calls, but this functionality is set to expire on July 15th 2008 in EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and the USA on August 31st 2008.

Once again, Microsoft's consumer-play VoIP offerings seems very incoherent with many stops & starts. They're on again off again... First, they added SIP to Windows Messenger and it worked with 3rd party SIP ITSPs such as Net2Phone.

Dell Video Chat Launches

June 26, 2008

Today, Dell will launch Dell Video Chat powered by SightSpeed, which will be pre-bundled on all consumer Dell PCs. Landing Dell is a major win for SightSpeed, a competitor to Skype, Microsoft Live Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, and others.

I spoke with Eric Quanstrom, Vice President of Marketing for Sightspeed about this major annoucement. I also installed Dell Video Chat to check it out for myself, so I'll include some screenshots along the way.

Eric said, "We've been bundled with camera manufactureres before but we've never been resident on OEM PC hardware.

Windows Live Messenger 8.5 Launches

June 25, 2008

Just got a popup toast icon in my current version of Windows Live Messenger saying that a new version of Windows Live Messenger was out - namely Windows Live Messenger 8.5 which has been in beta.

The previous (non-beta) version was Windows Live Messenger 8.1. In the new version, Messenger now works with Windows Live OneCare Family Safety to help you control who's on your child's list of contacts. It also has an updated look and feel and improved (VoIP) audio for video calls.

And according to Microsoft, here's some of the stuff they've added since MSN Messenger 7.0:
  • Sharing Folders that let you collaborate with friends and share files, pictures, and videos
  • The ability to send messages to contacts even when they're offline (they'll get your message the next time they log in)
  • An easy view of your Windows Live Hotmail, Windows Live Messenger, and Yahoo! Messenger contacts, all in one place
  • The Roaming Identity feature that lets you log in anywhere you're online and still see your display picture, personal message, and shared folders
  • Redesigned Contact Cards that let you access more data about your friends
  • The ability to send an SMS message to a friend's phone
Go download Windows Live Messenger 8.5 here

Update: A reader points out that v8.5 came out in late 2007 and that Windows Live Messenger v9.0 is currently in private beta.

SightSpeed Business Upgrade Adds 9-way Video

June 23, 2008

Today, SightSpeed will announce a significant upgrade to SightSpeed Business, which was launched last fall. The new version offers simultaneous 9-way video and text chat. I'm a huge fan of SightSpeed, which doesn't get nearly the amount of attention that Skype gets yet has some features Skype lacks. Check out my 2006 review of SightSpeed 5.0.

conaito VoIP SIP SDK 3.0 launches

June 16, 2008

conaito has an interesting VoIP SIP SDK for developing SIP applications for websites. Starting today, the new VoIP SIP SDK v3.0 is available to download. conaito VoIP SIP SDK is based on IETF standards (SIP, RTP/RTCP, STUN, TURN, ICE, etc.), so it should be compatible with SER, Sip EXpress, OpenSER, Asterisk, and other popular SIP-based solutions.

New features of the conaito VoIP SIP client - version 3.0 include:

Digium Switchvox AA300 appliance

June 9, 2008

TMCnet's Greg Galitzine is reporting that Digium has announced the latest member of the Switchvox appliance family, the Digium|Switchvox AA300 appliance to go along with the AA60 and AA350. Essentially, the AA300 sits in the "middle" targeting 150 users, where as the AA60 appliance supports 30 users and the AA350 appliance supports up to a whopping 400 users.

According to Tristan Degenhardt, Product Line Director for Digium|Switchvox, "Not only in capacity," Degenhardt, "but the physical size of the appliance is in between the two as well. The AA60 is a tiny, little box designed to wall mount, appropriate for a small business with not a lot of room; the AA 350 is a full-depth 3U rackmountable machine; and the AA300 can also be rackmounted. It too is 3U high, but it's half-depth, and can be deployed on a desktop rather easily."

In addition to 150 users, it supports up to 45 simultaneous calls.

TringMe offers Enhanced Click-to-Call

June 8, 2008

Many click-to-call (c2c) solutions require connecting two legs of a call, which adds additional cost. TringMe has just launched enhanced click-to-call solves this multi-leg cost issue by making it a single leg call and instead using a notification method such as SMS to notify the called party of the caller's phone details.

TringMe's blog explains, "Instead of originating multiple calls (call-legs), TringMe intelligently notifies the called entity about the caller. Notified entity then automatically initiates a call back to the original Caller. The method of notification can be of any type, including sending an SMS containing the caller details OR using the data network."

For example, a website visitor can click on a click-2-call link which will notify the caller’s phone by a special message using SMS or data network. 

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