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.
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.
Nearly every Skype user I've talked to about the service uses it specifically because it allows them to call regular phone numbers cheaply. The fact that they have to run Yet Another IM App is not a selling point.
I get why people say Yahoo was targeting Napster with our music subscription service, but this one puzzles me. If I'm limited to calling only other Yahoo Messenger users, it's hardly a "Skype Killer."
But then again, I'm not one of the "soccer moms in the Midwest."
Don't get me wrong. PC-to-PC "calling" is useful. It's been in Yahoo Messenger since the late 90s. But it's also no Skype.
Posted by jzawodn at May 18, 2005 03:35 PM