Today, AOL will launch Open Voice APIs to enable developers to integrate the AIM Call Out Service into softphones and SIP-enabled devices. According to AOL, the APIs will "provide third-party developers and VoIP device manufacturers with open standards protocols that will enable them to easily integrate the AIM Call Out service into softphones, as well as SIP-enabled hardware and cell phones with wi-fi connectivity."
The APIs directly integrate with AIM Call Out, which is AOL's "SkypeOut" PSTN low-cost dialing service. AIM Call Out is built right into AIM, a popular instant messaging client that used to be and perhaps still is the #1 IM client. Skype
may or may not have surpassed AOL in total users, but regardless, AOL dropped the ball when they let Skype's voice functionality help erode into AOL's formerly dominant IM market share.
Many users are loathe to run multiple IM clients, so many switched from AIM to Skype because they could get IM, plus voice & video -- all in a single client.