Yahoo Messenger is not VoIP

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Tom Keating
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Yahoo Messenger is not VoIP

Jeremy blogged about the Yahoo Messenger announcement and he complained that Ryan Naraine over at eWEEK miscategorized Yahoo Messenger as having VoIP capabilities when Yahoo Messenger can merely do PC-to-PC calling. He preferred the term VoIM (voice over instant message) instead of VoIP. While Yahoo Messenger technically is doing voice over IP (VoIP) packetization it is limted to buddy-to-buddy calling (doesn't do PSTN calling) and that's what stuck in Jeremy's craw. I have to admit, I thought the same thing when reading the Yahoo Messenger news this morning. All the "important" VoIP news these days is about broadband VoIP and Skype - both of which can dial the PSTN. If you can't reach the PSTN using VoIP then you are an "also ran". Many "novice" VoIP fans will assume when they read that Yahoo Messenger has VoIP that it can do the same thing a Vonage or a Skype can. They would be wrong. The new Yahoo Messenger does do PC-to-PC calling and its full-duplex (prior version was not I believe)- BIG WHOOP!. I actually had intented to blog similar thoughts to Jeremy's this morning. Ah well, 11:45pm is better than never, right?

Here's a teaser of his rant on Yahoo Messenger having VoIP. Make sure to go check out the full article.


In Yahoo's 'Voice Over IM' Targets Skype Ryan Naraine starts his article by saying:

The Yahoo Messenger makeover puts the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Web portal up against startups Skype Technologies S.A. and Teleo Inc., two companies that have found success by offering IM and voice connection services from a downloadable application.

Which seems to reaffirm the headline. But then comes the deal breaker for nearly every Skype user I know.

While Skype and Teleo provide users with the ability to make and receive calls from and to traditional telephone lines, Yahoo Inc's will be limited to PC-to-PC calling to contacts on the messenger buddy list.

(Emphasis mine.)

Let me make the point in a different way. This is Voice Over IM (VOIM), a subset of what the real Voice Over IP (VOIP) market is and a subset of what Skype offers.



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