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Yahoo Readies New VoIP Service 125

Rob writes "Yahoo is readying to capture a larger piece of the VoIP market and will announce a new VoIP product during the next two weeks. The new service would be comparable to Skype Technologies SA's, said Safa Rashtchy, senior research analyst at Wall Street researcher Piper Jaffray Co, which makes a market in Yahoo stock. The impending move by Sunnyvale, California-based Yahoo into the VoIP arena would potentially be disruptive."
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Yahoo Readies New VoIP Service

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  • by BishonenAngstMagnet ( 797469 ) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @09:27PM (#13344325)
    Oh goody, yet another link on their homepage I can click on.
  • by CSHARP123 ( 904951 ) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @09:29PM (#13344336)
    Good Business Move. Diversification of product portfolio. Nice portal, Search, VoIP, Instant Messaging.. what next?
  • by QuantumG ( 50515 ) <> on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @09:31PM (#13344349) Homepage Journal
    Sony has millions of people playing their online games, just like Yahoo, you'd figure they'd see integration of VoIP into games at this point in the VoIP gold rush as a logical first step into the market.

    • Sony has millions of people playing their online games, just like Yahoo, you'd figure they'd see integration of VoIP into games at this point in the VoIP gold rush as a logical first step into the market.

      Two points:

      1) As someone who has used serious, professional quality VOIP [to the point of accompanying VOIP engineers during lengthy on-site visits], let me be the first to say that VOIP quality

      IS TEH SUX0RS. You could shoot your foe, take off your headset, walk over to the fridge, throw a pan of grit

      • My understanding was that we are at this point in history because VoIP is now largely the same as talking over copper. I use VoIP daily and the only time I get glitches is when I'm downloading multimegabyte files which, I have heard, you can fix with those game routers. So yeah, arguing that VoIP+games doesn't work is just bollocks because I and many other people have done it. What I would really like to see is Sony integrate VoIP into a game so I can talk into my headset and other players who are within

        • Seriously, if M$FT can patent the scroll wheel on the iPod [before Apple even gets around to doing it], then surely there must be some opportunity for patenting a "method for transmitting verbal and other auditory and visual communication through the locus of a digital entertainment center" or how-the-hell-ever the patent lawyers would have you phrase it.

        • It's in Halo 2, and it works pretty darn good.
    • Anything Sony does these days is choked with DRM and useless proprietary crap. I say the more things Sony stays out of, the better!
  • I've been hearing a lot about Skype and Vonage lately. Is there any service out there that is totally free, but where you can still call a regular telephone from it? I could see this as just another p2p app, and I'm sure someone could come up with a free version.

    Does ICQ still have a phone utility?

    • Free is nice, but the network up-keep has to get paid for. Nothing is every really "free". In Yahoo's VoIP (or any VoIP) I think it will come down to "free" with ads or with a fee...
      • Haha, you might be on to something here... inline/subliminal/highly targeted ads! Watch out AdSense!

        [Steve] Hello, Steve here...
        [John] Hey Steve, it's John here.
        [Steve] Oh hey, how's your game going?
        [John] Pretty good, we're leading 8 points at half-time.
        [Steve] X-treme power drink, extra bounce for the power athlete!!!
        [John] What?
        [Steve] Nothing, I was just asking how your game went?
        [John] Call within the next 5 minutes, and get your own Hit-the-Monkey game free! Click here FTW!!!111

        • Funny.

          Actually, they could do it by making you sit through 15, 20, or 30 seconds befor the connection. And actually, doing it that way, you get the ad even if you don't get connected.

    • Re:Free Plans (Score:5, Informative)

      by killercoder ( 874746 ) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @09:37PM (#13344379)
      There are several services that allow free inbound calls from pstn - but require you to pay for outbound. - free inbound UK and German numbers - free inbound NYC and Area - free inbound italy number

      I have one asterisk PBX here in Toronto with inbound phone numbers in all of the above - I don't pay for a single one of the inbound numbers (I pay for local service thru Vonage).

      This site has a lot of useful information on SIP providers and Asterisk []
    • VoIP Buster (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Augusto ( 12068 ) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @09:46PM (#13344430) Homepage
      This one is pretty free; []

      You have to get a credit of 1 euro and you're set to go (they let you preview it for a minute if you don't have any credit).

      I'm sure this is temporary, I can't see how they can keep all those countries for free for a long time.
    • Re:Free Plans (Score:3, Interesting)

      by matth ( 22742 )
      Try Here: []
    • I'm looking for a free server where you can call someone on the net from a land-line in Souther California
    • Re:Free Plans (Score:2, Informative)

      by mogalpha ( 782997 )
      Not totally free, but allows you to make calls to many countries (some landlines, some mobile, some both) for free... once you put at least 1 Euro into an account. I've used it for about an hour so far - it's definitely not worse than POTS. In some respects, its better - really easy to dial, good sound quality with no huge lag or choppyness. However, the software is still pretty basic, only for Windows, and the lag is about the same from your house to your neighbors as it is from your h
  • What about SBC? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mookoz ( 217805 )
    Will I be able to get VoIP through my SBC/Yahoo! service?
  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @09:32PM (#13344355) Homepage
    The only company I have found that is interested in actually serving the customer so far is braodvoice. They will let me use Asterisk or my own equipment and let me retain control of my equipment. All the others I found refuse to. People ask me about Vonnage all the time because they advertise heavily. I always warn them away from vonnage because of the almost outright hostility I recieved from them when I was asking about using my own gear... I was accused of being a terrorist by one of their CSR's after explaining what Asterisk was and could do for me and my family and then was promptly hung up on.

    If the company will not let you use your own equipment and retain control over it if you desire then I strongly suggest not using them or reccomending them to anyone.

    I know that Yahoo will be the same way, Packet8 started with the same hoopla that yahoo is using right now and they also are hostile to educated users after promises of "being for the techie guy"

    • To the contrary, my time with Vonage has been great. Fantastic service and friendly (and speedy) customer support. And no, I've never been called a terrorist by them.
      • First off: I love the Vonage T.V. adds. Especially where the poor bastard tries to ski-jump from his roof into the back of a pickup truck. Second favorite is when the dumb-ass lets the tree fall on his car,etc.

        So far, none of the VoIP I use provides a side tone in order to give you a feel for the "smoothness" of the conversation. This is a serious fault for folks without a telco background.

        Any questions or comments?
    • Broadvoice does kick ass.
      I use unlimited world plus and it's the best thing ever. Infact, in this country (japan) the telco charges per-minute for their own VOIP, so by using $25/month unlimited world plus I can get *flat rate* calls to all over japan, where if I used jap voip they would charge something like 10c/3minutes. Thank god for american companies who don't have their heads firmly planted in their asses unlike the japanese telco.
    • I use $20/mo for unlimited to anywhere in the states and canada. Never any problems. Been using it for a year.
    • by timeOday ( 582209 ) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @10:11PM (#13344564)
      I echo your sentiment. I was disappointed to find I can't call my home phone directly over the Internet from my laptop when on travel. Why? Because Vonage locks down the SIP box so hard it can't even recieve VOIP calls!! It can only receive calls from the POTS network - no direct VOIP-to-VOIP calls.

      If yahoo has numbers in my area code, Vonage could lose a customer over this.

    • Hey, thanks for your comment. I didn't know Broadvoice existed. Looks like they'll be getting a new customer soon!

      They should have an affiliate program... I'd sign up under your affiliate ID.

      • Vonage is a very solid service, but very limited in the BYOD dept(my girlfriend was not happy when I disconnected her for my current carriers as it worked really well for her). Broadvoice is a good choice for BYOD, has a large selection of features but is restricted to SIP access only which can cause issues for Asterisk users behind NAT routers. As an Asterisk user I prefer Telasip with an IAX2 account combined with Voipbuster (for free outgoing long distance and cheap international calls).
    • Telasip totally doesn't care what your hardware/software is or how many simultaneous calls you have going. They don't do all those foreign countries like Broadvoice but they're only $14.95/month too.
    • You are so right. I know tons of people right here in my neighborhood that run asterisk on their own equipment and will be furious to learn that they can't use it with yahoo.

      Dude, most ordinary (mere mortal) people can't find the asterisk on the keyboard, let alone install and configure telephony software.
    • I am another person who has advised half a dozen people not to go with Vonage, and decided not to go with them myself, due to the customer not being able to use their own hardware. I bought a number of Sipuras from Voxilla and have been more than happy with them. I read a lot about reliability issues with Broadvoice so went with Gossiptel instead personally. It only works about half the time outgoing, though incoming seems to be fine, and so I'm glad it's only my 2nd line :-/. Not quite ready for prime time
    • The only company I have found that is interested in actually serving the customer so far is braodvoice. They will let me use Asterisk or my own equipment and let me retain control of my equipment. All the others I found refuse to.

      There are several VOIP providers that allow you to BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). Check out ice+Providers+Residential [] and de=type []

      Personally, I'm looking at voipex - https://www. []
  • Is this the same sort of thing as "Google readying to release IM"??
    • IM is really something that is held onto by MSN and AIM. I have used AIM for a long time, there is better out there, but getting all my computer illerate people to follow simple download directions, and getting all there friends to do it, is hard. I tried getting people into Gizmo They thought it was cool, but getting people to talk on there computer is hard. They don't mind typing, but talking is a whole new thing. It's loud, and obtrustive. I would definately stay loyal to google, if
    • Actually no. Since in the UK, Yahoo, in conjunction with BT, already offer VOIP. Though in typical BT fashion the calls cost exactly the same as an ordinary phone so there is very little advantage to be gained from using VOIP. Oh, apart from the introductory month of free Local and National calls.
  • Great..... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Jambon ( 880922 )
    I can see the TV ads already: Think The Waaassuup Guys except they're yelling "Yaaaaahooo!!!". That and most of the people in the ads are white (not because Yahoo! is racist, but just because I can't see a bunch of black guys phoning each other and yelling "YAAAHOOOO!". The phrase "Yaaahoo!" is about as white as you get).
  • Finally (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Jubalicious ( 203314 ) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @09:37PM (#13344381)
    It's good to see VoIP starting to take off... cell phones are starting to come WiFi enabled and our wireless network transfer rates keep getting faster and able to travel longer distances. Soon (within the next 10 years or so) we won't have to pay the exhorborant fees we are currently paying to these wireless carriers (Verizon, Sprint, Cingular, T-Mobile, etc) for X amount of minutes a month. It will be interesting to see what will happen once this technology becomes popular and everyone begins making calls over the internet. I for one can't wait to do my part by helping to slashdot something with my cell phone.
    • within the next 10 years or so) we won't have to pay the exhorborant fees we are currently paying to these wireless carriers

      In the mean time I use my Internet access on my cell phone and the Skype client I loaded onto it to make all of my all of my mobile VoIP calls.
      • within the next 10 years or so) we won't have to pay the exhorborant fees we are currently paying to these wireless carriers
        Fees don't go away, we just pay someone else. The wireless carriers charge us, becuase the government charges them. will get rid of the BS fees, but they will just come up with another way to screw you over.

        "Overexcessive bandwidth overuse surcharge"
        "Overexcessive bandwidth overuse surcharge charge"
  • What about Gizmo (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Ecko7889 ( 882690 ) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @09:37PM (#13344385)

    A open STANDARD service that is currently in beta, and runs off of the open standard of SIP.
    • Gizmo is just a *better* Skype, it has the option to record calls, add effects, map your phone calls with Google Maps (Inculding Satellite/Hybrid). And as a nice touch they give you 25 Cents free if you register, that means you could try Gizmo to call anywhere in the world.. free for a few minutes.

      Not to mention the UI is nicer than Skype's.

      But, Skype is the leading software, and it is extremely good. You cant put it down.

      The nice thing about Gizmo is that it is SIP Based, so you can call the phone number i
    • Can I download the source to Gizmo? I can't see any option to do so, which is kind of a shame!

      For anyone else, there is more information about Gizmo here [].
  • by Cryofan ( 194126 ) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @09:41PM (#13344401) Journal
    once the larger urban areas (read 50% of America) are able to get broadband for $20-25/month, without having to pay for a mandatory phone line or cable tv along with that, THEN VOIP will be disruptive.

    But as long as the vast majority cannot get cheap broadband BY ITSELF, VOIP will languish.

    Here is a theory: besides wifi, the only thing that may push down rates and packages to that mentioned above is the upcoming digital Tv switchover. Broadcasting in dgital, each tv station will be able to broadcast 3 or perhaps 6 distinct channels. Thus in many urban areas, where you might have 4 to 6 channels that most people can get via rabbit ears, that might turn into 12 to 36 channels of content. Thus, broadcast tv could compete with cable tv. Thus, cable tv will lose a lot of subscribers. Thus, they will have to sell broadband cheapers. Thus the Telcos will have to sell broadband cheaper. All the telcos will be starting up their own dsl tv.

    So it may be tv that pushes broadband down, not wifi.

    • That 50% cannot be even close to correct if over 51% of the US is on broadband [] and there are so many people in broadband access areas that choose to use dialup still.

      Perhaps the savings in VOIP will help people phase out their dialup accounts in favor of broadband thereby increasing demand which will increase the value to companies who want to put money in the "last mile" residents but just couldn't make the numbers work until now.
    • Not sure that I agree with your theory...

      In my neighborhood, there is a project called UTOPIA ( That project is a state sponsored infrastructure to provide fiber-optic network to everyone within its member cities. Qwest and Comcast don't like it much, because there are already providers of TV, VOIP, and data lining up to use the infrastructure. These providers simply use the infrastructure and pay the state for the use of it. This is pretty cool, IMHO, because the state will allow fre
  • Yahoo's strategy (Score:3, Informative)

    by mcc ( 14761 ) <> on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @10:04PM (#13344523) Homepage
    This may just be my perception of things, but:

    Yahoo's strategy of late seems to be to look around for new areas where some new or expanding company has found an up and coming IT market, and then drop in beside them with a me-too product.

    While I guess it's good they're investing into growth markets or what not, doesn't this really kind of seem like a not-great plan in the long run? Because it seems to me like there's a problem here in that this strategy seems to bank on jumping into the market only after someone else has demonstrated how to make the market work and provided a template for Yahoo to run their business on. Or in other words, it means that Yahoo will always be entering the market after it becomes relatively stable and the bulk of the customers are already set up and satisfied with a first choice of providers. It seems like Yahoo is gunning to set themselves up as the second place contender in every single market out there...
    • they are letting someone else do all the early market analysis and R&D. they still get to see it though, after all they are a search engine company and have the ability to stay up on all aspects of business and technology, quite easily. They are *leveraging* the ability they have (tier one level to be fair) to collect and collate mass quantities of data. They can then pick and choose the good bits that look worthwhile, and reject the rest. So therefore they get a lot of expensive free and more stable st
    • Actually, being the second-mover in an immature market is often the best position to be in, as the first guys have already made all the mistakes that you don't have to make. And the "bulk of the customers" have not already set themselves up with the first choice. Most potential customers don't even know these immature markets exist; I wonder how many will know when Yahoo puts 360, flickr, VoIP, and all the rest on its home page, exposing their 250 million monthly unique users to the new services.
    • Yahoo's strategy of late seems to be to look around for new areas where some new or expanding company has found an up and coming IT market, and then drop in beside them with a me-too product.

      That's the strategy of most successful big businesses. The nicer ones at least buy startups, and they still invest in research themselves (even if a lot of their products don't come from it).
    • "Yahoo's strategy of late seems to be to look around for new areas where some new or expanding company has found an up and coming IT market, and then drop in beside them with a me-too product."

      Are you sure you haven't confused yahoo with MS?
  • by mrklin ( 608689 ) <ken DOT lin AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @10:04PM (#13344524)
    * Yahoo! Messenger today offers VOIP via in free PC-to-PC calls via Messenger, see [].

    * Dialpad ( []) was acquired by Yahoo! two months ago.

    * Yahoo! has access numerous deals with top last-mile telecoms such as SBC in the US, BT in UK, Rogers in CA, etc.

    My prediction: two months after Yahoo! starts to provide VOIP, Google will do so and then Slashdot will have an article annoucing that Google now offers VOIP and is the first one doing so and Yahoo! is copying Google.

  • where's the market? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by cahiha ( 873942 ) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @10:06PM (#13344529)
    I fail to see where the "VoIP market" is supposed to be. The software is free, you don't need any central servers for VoIP, and you are already paying someone for your Internet connectivity.

    The only services you might pay for are VoIP-to-POTS gateways (to talk to those stuck in the 20th century), and directory services. The former may have a brief growth phase but then will gradually disappear. The latter can be piggy-backed on all sorts of existing free services.
    • Good point, although I think the gateway service will remain a valid business model for a while yet there's services like VOIPMobile, VOIPEmergency Services that will not be simple end point connections over the internet, at least for the foreseeable future.
    • Brief? It's usually a mistake to discount opportunities because they will eventually go away.

      The gap between now and eventually is often big enough to make bags of money in the interim. I'd argue that in this case people will be using POTS for a very long time. Even if it was only 10 years (it will be longer than that) it would still be a long time. Would you have believed that most people would still be on dial-up access at this point in time?

      The VoIP-to-POTS gateways are exactly why there is money to be m
      • The VoIP-to-POTS gateways are exactly why there is money to be made in VoIP.

        Yes, and that market is well covered by several companies. What's Yahoo's contribution?

        they would be trading a near 100% reliable voice communication network for a much less reliable one-off ISP gatewaying you to the Internet,

        That's a myth. There is nothing "one-off" about IP-based communications, and many ISPs are quite reliable.
        • Yes, and that market is well covered by several companies. What's Yahoo's contribution?

          Marketing. They're a brand recognised around the globe. But its true that they otherwise don't really add anything! But most people outside of any given industry feel most comfortable buying a product from a brand they recognise / trust.

          "they would be trading a near 100% reliable voice communication network for a much less reliable one-off ISP gatewaying you to the Internet,"

          That's a myth. There is nothing "one-of
      • The VoIP-to-POTS gateways are exactly why there is money to be made in VoIP. You're right in that aspect, there's really no other reason (a free directory could be created no problem), and there's nothing to be done about it except marginalize those on POTS-only service. But the nature of the beast is that is a ways down the road.

        Don't forget mobile (cellular!) phones. These will likely remain firmly in the land of POTS for a good few years yet even if land-lines did start to slide toward VoIP.
    • Yes, money will be made in VoIP-to-POTS services (cheap international and being able to have any phone number anywhere you have an internet connection), but another way that you will attract and keep customers is with features. With POTS can you set your phone to ring for 10 seconds, then try calling you at home and work numbers simultaneously for 10 seconds then go to voicemail? How about having your phone do different things based on who is calling and at what time of the day (or day of week/month or mo
    • How about an anonymizer? Yeah, it's great that I can turn your phone number into an ip address with a directory and we can connect P2P, but it's a double edged sword - you can get my IP address just because I called you. Where's the anonymity? So there's a business for you, masking the source address by bouncing through a proxy.
      • And in the same way how do you tackle the problem of getting media from one end to the other when both are NAT'ed? Not everyone knows how to or wants to configure port forwarding on their NAT box just for this.
        Skype (I think) handles it by using another non-NAT'ed Skype user as a trusted intermediary, both ends open their media to this middleman who patches the streams together.

        There is a market for boxes that do a similar thing, and on these boxes you can get other services, and even monitor packet usage f
  • by earthbound kid ( 859282 ) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @10:07PM (#13344535) Homepage
    In Japan, Yahoo BroadBand offers free calls to other Yahoo customers by plugging your phone into your router. The rates to call America are also staggeringly cheap (¥4/minute if memory serves). Yahoo has had this technology for a while, at least two years by my reckoning. It's good that they're going to use it elsewhere though, I guess.
    • I recall hearing somewhere that the Japanese Yahoo Broadband ("Yahoo BB") is a separate company from the Yahoo in the US, and is just licensing their trademarks for brand recognition. I could be wrong about this though. The friendly article also doesn't mention this type of service.
  • Work with Asterisk? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by BlakeOPS ( 807857 ) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @10:11PM (#13344561)
    The real question is- will this service work with the Asterisk PBX? They say Yahoo VoIP is based on SIP, but is it open like FreeWorldDialup or closed like Vonage?
  • by BucksCountyCycleGeek ( 893639 ) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @10:17PM (#13344596) Homepage
    How does copying someone else's VoIP fit in with Yahoo's business model? The way I see it, Yahoo is not in the business of person-to-person communication, it's in the business of making it easy to access knowledge of all sorts.

    I can see how the IM client helps them, but software VoIP is different from IM - it's more computationally intensive, it depends heavily on the presence of broadband, and it's (in my opinion) a lot less versatile for those in a computer environment. You couldn't use this stuff in a cube environment. You can't be anonymous with voice. You can't enclose pictures or multitask easily.

    For that reason it's really hard to distinguish yourself with VoIP - there's really only one thing a provider needs to do, which is get two people talking with reasonable voice quality. Once you're there, how does Yahoo! differ from anyone else?

    Most importantly, how does getting people to use the Yahoo! client get people to do something that makes Yahoo! richer? Again - banner advertising won't work because people using the client aren't really looking at their computer screens.

    It's hard to conceptually connect Yahoo! and any sort of VoIP client. I'm open to any suggestions of how it might work, though...
    • Things like this don't have to fit within grand corporate strategy.

      Yahoo! Messenger group probably has certain goals on its list, which include expanding the functionality of the client. What's the next big thing for IM clients? VoIP. Actually, I distinctly remember using voice conferencing on Yahoo! Messenger back in 2001 or so, so they've had it.

      But overall, with MSN implementing SIP authentication on MSN Messenger and Skype implementing text messaging and what not on their VOIP client, Yahoo! doesn't do
  • It's VOIP? Is this any more disruptive than mom&pop voip? Is it any more disruptive than Woo Hoo.. Woo Hoo Hoo.. Vonage? No. It as disruptive as Yahoo auctions was to ebay.

    No Asterisk IS disruptive as it brings NT & LU down to reality.. VOIP service is not!
  • by XO ( 250276 )
    one of my friends today was telling me that the new yahoo messenger beta for windows (note: there have been like 1111222333453457 updates for the Windows client since the last change to the Unix or Mac clients) voice chat is implemented via this.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    In a sense, it sure seems like Yahoo is becoming more and more like Microsoft these days, at least in "me too" department.

    Skype has had great success with it's voip offering, and now Yahoo wants in.

    Apple done great with online music, and Yahoo decides maybe it can too.

    Google enhances their search technologies at various stages, and Yahoo follows the lead.

    And on and on.

    Competition is a good thing, but it would be nice to see Yahoo come up with something completely original instead of always following along s
    • Competition is a good thing, but it would be nice to see Yahoo come up with something completely original instead of always following along someone else's coattails.

      Um lets see...... Make money doing what we are doing or be
  • by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @11:26PM (#13344942) Homepage Journal
    If they use SIP, they'll boost the whole VoIP industry, and perhaps emerge as a leader. If they roll their own incompatible protocol, like Skype did, they'll fragment the market and industry, perhaps controlling their own island, and pay the cost later when they've got some control. But that later gambit also creates demand for a SIP/Skype/Yahoo gateway. Exactly the kind of thing that OSS apps like Asterisk are better platforms for than in-house systems. Both because the OSS winds up in different hands, with different experience, each with their own priority in making their angle work - which then can all be synthesized by the project team. And because the in-house team will give shorter shrift to competing protocol features, especially as they rush to market.

    For their sake, and for the sake of not wasting 2 years fragmenting and recombining the industry, I hope they've gone with SIP. But I'm not holding my breath.
    • One reason Skype has been such a success is that they didn't try to use SIP, which while an open standard, is poorly equipped to deal with NATs and firewalls. There is no point in using an open protocol if it isn't well suited to the job, and from what I have seen, SIP isn't. To date, Skype is the only VOIP app that I have found to handle NATs and firewalls reliably.

      It shouldn't be hard for someone to combine an open source voice codec like Speex [] with UDP NAT circumvention (which isn't hard to implement

  • Or Maybe Not (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @11:55PM (#13345061)
    Yahoo Shoots Down VoIP Speculation []
    By Jim Wagner

    Officials at Internet portal giant Yahoo (Quote, Chart) are denying a report that it will launch a VoIP (define) service in the next two weeks.
    In a research report issued this week, Safa Rashtchy, an analyst with Piper Jaffray, said the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company was likely to launch a service similar to the popular Skype application.

    The analyst noted that such a service would "expand Yahoo's content footprint and further establish Yahoo's brand as a comprehensive provider of content, search and communication services," and likely run as both an advertising-based basic service and paid premium service.

    That's not the case, Yahoo officials said.

    "The rumor from the financial analyst is not true," Terrell Karlsten, a Yahoo spokeswoman, told

    Yahoo has been making a number of moves this year to advance its voice offerings. That's sparked speculation over the company's VoIP strategy.

    Slashdot: Bogus news for nerds []... Stuff that really doesn't matter.
  • ON TOPIC: Will is be SIP compatible like gizmo, or proprietary like skype?

    Skype it nice, works, and is free but proprietary. Gizmo will work with hardware phones and uses a standard SIP.

    If Y!A!H!O!O!S!!! own software is SIP based, then I might give it a go if they don't opt for msn style heeeowwj tabs and interface. minimalism.. and no ads. evar.


    Yahoo! Readies New VoIP Service
    Communications | Posted by samzenpus on Thursday August 18, @04:25AM
    from the do-you-yahoo!-phone dept.
    Rob writes "Yahoo
  • by Ralph Spoilsport ( 673134 ) on Thursday August 18, 2005 @12:45AM (#13345254) Journal
    Yahoo and SBC are in bed together with their DSL package - sbcglobal. SBC supplies the phone lines, Yahoo supplies the net. Subverting the bread and butter of their partner would be sheer suicide.

    Ain't. Gonna. Happen.


  • Personally, I am looking for an alternative to Skype. Skype quality is good and I like it but the software is intrusive. I don't want it running all the time, only when I want to make calls. It tries to push itself into startup all the time even when I uncheck the option. And it will not let me save the password and login automatically unless I allow it to start at startup. I am not sure how Yahoo VoIP is new though. Yahoo had collaborated with Net2Phone in the past. Hasn't it?
  • "...quality comparable to Skype..." I'm not too sure how Yahoo is going to achieve this. to improve audio quality I suppose it involves the use of "better" audio codecs? If that is the case, then I suspect the codecs wouldn't be proprietary since they intend to use SIP as the signaling protocol. Any guesses on the codecs implemented by this service? Perhaps G.711, G.723, G.729? Thanks :)
  • When some people say VoIP they mean the equivalent of telephone to telephone communication (Vonage, Callvantage, Packet8 etc.) and some people mean messaging with voice (Skype, Yahoo, Messenger,iChat etc.). It's unfortunate that these two concepts have the same label. This thread is an example of the confusion that results from this glitch.
  • ...I've already got VoIP! I want a pony!
  • by el_womble ( 779715 ) on Thursday August 18, 2005 @10:35AM (#13347408) Homepage

    Haven't we already got free VoIP? The last thing we need is another protocol cold war. Didn't Yahoo! do enough damage with Yahoo IM?

    The only way this could be a good thing is:

    • If it didn't rely on super peers (bad Skype... no!)
    • If it was good.
    • If it was open source.
    • If it worked with Skype, Vonage et al OOTB

    But of course it doesn't do that. All that will happen is that MSN will release a VoIP system, as will AIM, Apple will then piggy back on AOL service, and we'll all be left with 20 IM clients and 10 VoIP clients on our PCs wandering how we ever let it get this far out of control.

    As an aside. Dear Mr. Jobs, If you are reading this, please, for the love of God/money whatever floats your boat: open up iChat. Its really, really good, but its not a killer app. No one will ever switch to a Mac for iChat. And I'll tell you why: only 3% of computers are Macs. See what happened with iTunes? That can happen again... just let windows users download iChat, for free, and watch iSights fly off shelf. Drop the price point to $50-75, let it work with USB 2, and you will have a winner. Why? Because like the iPod they are better designed, and do the job better than the competition. Logitec do not sell video calling, they sell cameras. MS/AOL sell software, but don't sell cameras. Which means that nobody is using cameras, because its too damn hard (for Joe Sixpack) to set the buggers up.

  • I doubt that this service will be used much until they add conference calling, which is needed by gamers. Skype has conference calling, but it is limited to five users.

"I don't believe in sweeping social change being manifested by one person, unless he has an atomic weapon." -- Howard Chaykin