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Tom Keating
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Jabber SimpleAE and myJabberAE softphones

September 12, 2005

Some news to share confirming TMCnet's scoop on Jabber offering a softphone client and now we have a face to go with the name Actually, we now have a name to go with the product - Jabber's VoIP client is going to be called myJabberAE. In addition, this news release below talks about SimpleAE which is also part of the myJabberAE softphone family with one difference - it's targetted at service providers and third-party content products. Sounds eerily similar to Skype's recently announced Voice Services Program for third party content providers, don't you think?

At least they both companies seem to have their priorities straight - VoIP isn't about cheap minutes - not anymore. If you want to win in the VoIP game you've got to provide enhanced services and content.

Here's the release.

Jabber announces SimpleAE, the latest addition to the myJabberAE(Softphone) product family.

eBay and Skype a done deal

September 12, 2005

Rumors were laid to rest when eBay announced that it plans to acquire Skype by paying $1.3
billion in cash and $1.3 billion in stock. It also has performance encentives in the deal that would make a later payout of up to $1.5 billion by 2008 or 2009 if financial targets are met, giving the deal a total value of up to $4.1 billion.

I wasn't crazy about the idea last week over eBay paying >$3 billion for Skype and I'm still not crazy about it now. I would not be a happy eBay stock holder right now, my guess is the stock will drop a couple percentage points, so it will be interesting to see what eBay's stock does when the markets open.

Then again with plenty of market hype surrounding VoIP, I'm sure the stock traders and insiders will probably be heavily pushing their clients to buy eBay at the opening bell. "VoIP is hot right now.

Jabber to enter the softphone market

September 9, 2005

Remember the new open-source softphone I recently promised would announce its plans very shortly? In my prior blog post I mentioned I didn't want to steal TMCnet's Robert Lui's thunder, since he had the scoop on this story. Well, Robert has just posted the story to TMCnet.

The company I "teased" you about a week or so ago is Jabber - the very same Jabber that had its XMPP protocol embedded into Google's softphone, aptly named Google Talk

Let's just hope this new Jabber softphone client is more like Skype in terms of the GUI and functionality than it is like Google Talk, which I was a bit disappointed with when I took it for a test drive.

Anyway, here's an excerpt from Jabber - Reluctant Voice Player:

Jabber plans to integrate
Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) directly into voice capabilities of its core Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP) – occasionally referred to as the “Jabber” protocol – by next spring, TMCnet has learned. more...

eBay buys Skype?

September 8, 2005

Greg Galitzine blogs about a WSJ report that claims eBay plans on buying Skype for between $2 and $3 billion.

Quoting Greg who cites the WSJ:

One of the unnamed sources in the Journal story said that “eBay was
keen on adding services that make it easier to buy and sell goods
online, as it did when it acquired the electronic-payment processing
service PayPal in 2002.”

Greg states he doesn't get the potential Skype acquisition. I'm with him.

Sure you could add a little Skype Me button next to each eBay online listing, but how many auctioners want to be bothered to interact via voice? Some might I suppose, especially for large ticket items such as cars, but more auctioners I would bet prefer to interact anonymously using email. There are plenty of web call-me button companies such as eStara that are a heck of a lot cheaper than $2-$3 billion.

Also, eBay has enough critical mass that is they wanted to add a "Call me" button to all the auctions and offer a free softphone download people would do it.

Global IP Sound to announce video product

September 1, 2005

In a few weeks Global IP Sound (GIPS) will unveil a new product to complement the GIPS VoiceEngine Suite called VoiceEngine Multimedia. This will add high-quality video capabilities to the VoiceEngine product line. It's a natural extension to GIPS' renowned voice engine that is used in Skype, Google Talk, and other VoIP products. Global IP Sound's engine is the reason why Skype sounds so damn good - ditto for Google Talk, due to GIPS's ability to handle packet loss, latency, etc.

The initial release will incorporate On2’s VP7 codec, which is a high quality video codec.

VoIP spells doom for calling card business?

September 1, 2005

I haven't used a calling card since my parents gave me one for college (to avoid my college's exorbitant per/minute fees), and I would have figured with unlimited cell phone plans, unlimited broadband VoIP plans (Vonage, Lingo, etc.), as well as software applications such as Skype, Gizmo, and now Google Talk that calling cards were so passe. Who needs calling cards, (including both post-paid and pre-paid calling cards) when you have so many competitive options that offer inexpensive calling, right? I mean really, who wants to dial a an 11-digit access number then remember their calling card account number (or pull it out of their wallet/purse) and then enter the destination number as well as their PIN?

Well apparently, even with so many phone options these days, each vying for the same "limited" phone minute pie, there is still a huge market for calling cards.

Skype gateway to PBX

August 30, 2005

Here's an interesting Skype solution that lets you integrate your PBX with Skype/SkypeIn,SkypeOut so you can use Skype for your trunk lines to save money. I actually found this on TMC's VoIP forums.

Here's a description of the product carried by Spintronics:
. Design Power boost to ensure enough voltage and current to drive your PBX and Ring

Dissecting Google Talk with packet sniffer

August 26, 2005

As I mentioned to James Seng in a comment I posted to his Google Talk post Google Talk isn't using SIP (yet). James confirmed my packet capture analysis of Google Talk with some sniffing of his own, which you can check out in his More About Google Talk blog post. He has some interesting discoveries, including Google appearing to install a STUN server on every Google Talk client to solve the VoIP NAT issues. James writes "In other words, like Skype, Google Talk turns every client into a possible server to help relay voice call between two users." Doesn't this sound eerily like Skype's super nodes that everyone gripes about?

James has echoes my sentiments when he writes, "Very smart thing to do technically speaking but let me go read the Google Talk UAT again.

FCC e911 - Countdown to VoIP Armageddon

August 25, 2005

The FCC extended the e911 deadline once already with its due date now August 29th - that's four days away. That's this Monday! IP Inferno reminded me with today's blog post (been having Google Talk on the brain I guess).

I've written about this impending e911 deadline several times in the past. In fact, I predicted the deadline extension what I wrote, "My guess is there will be some sort of extension to the deadline if the VoIP providers can prove that hundreds if not thousands of customers still haven't acknowledged the e911 rules.

Google Talk supports SIP, what does Skype do now?

August 24, 2005

Now that Google has announced plans to support SIP in Google Talk and plans to "federate" with third-party providers including Sipphone's Gizmo Project and Earthlink's Vling, where does this leave Skype? Skype up to now has been able to deflect criticisms for using a proprietary protocol and not supporting SIP. Part of their "excuse" for using a proprietary protocol was that it was needed in order for NAT traversal of firewalls.

But how long can Skype use this "excuse" now that Google plans to adopt the SIP protocol, an industry standard and currently Google Talk also can do NAT traversal? I should point out that currently Google Talk's VoIP feature doesn't use SIP but instead uses a custom XMPP-based signaling protocol for its peer-to-peer communication mechanism.

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