Fellow TMCer Tom Keating has something to say about the new Yahoo! Voice offering including PSTN service, I guess I do as well or I would not be writing this He made some interesting comments about an impending price war with PC based service providers including Skype, Yahoo with Google sure to follow up with yet another trump card here.
Andy is always on the ball, and it's no surprise that he is all over this. Andy makes mention that when it comes to content, Yahoo is currently the king. Skype is going to have to play catch-up there, no question. Andy goes into to detail, a good read.
Russel Shaw chimes in with some great comments... "Softphone providers are fighting each other over price point, but I don't think the average user cares about whether a call is 1.7 cents a minute or 2 cents a minute. What matters to them is quality of service. How is the connection? " Good point Russell, how about call completion? Are the majority of those calls getting through? Madhu over at Yahoo! seems to think so, watch his White board video "Is VoIP Ready for Primetime?"
Forbes has a great piece on how SBC is taking Yahoo! to market on cell phones. "Instead of leasing part of Cingular's wireless network, which SBC co-owns, Yahoo! leveraged its preexisting and wide-ranging relationship with SBC (the companies have sold DSL and e-mail packages together since 2001) to put its services on a cell phone to be sold by SBC and Cingular." Combine that brand power with VoIP and watch out eBay!
Om reminds us that AOL and Microsoft are entering the fray "There is word that Microsoft has started to integrate its Microsoft Live with MCI network, and AOL is already offering some of the same features. Skype’s partnerships with hardware makers, while increasing the risk of drawing the ire of incumbents, take away the need for a computer. Yahoo, however could leverage its IM position to become a default “presence manager” but that’s sometime in the future." and don't forget the DialPad purchase... "While, the older Yahoo Messenger had dial-out/dial-in features through an arrangement with Net2Phone, the new messenger will be exclusively using the DialPad back-end to route calls to Yahoo partners such as SBC, Verizon and BellSouth. (That should keep them happy!) The prices of calls within US are almost half that of Skype, something to ponder about!"
What does this mean for open standards? Guess what Yahoo! is using for their VoIP signaling today? Yep, that's right, it's SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) which will make it damn easy to federate Yahoo!'s Voice Calling. Google has some catching up to do there but seems to be on the right track.
SIP is it for VoIP and Video signaling, XMPP is it for IM (for now) and together these protocols will deliver us from the proprietary silos of IP communication we have today.
Make sure you check out the new SIP mag when it hits the stands!