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Wengo Releases Flash Softphone For Web Pages 62

bolsh writes "Wengo, a French company specializing in VoIP and instant messaging, and patron of the OpenWengo project (previously featured in Free Software magazine and here on Slashdot), has just released WengoVisio — a Flash softphone that you can download and embed in your Web page, to allow readers to call you when you're available through their browser, without downloading any software. (Disclaimer: I work for Wengo, on the OpenWengo project.) It's functionally cut down from the full Wengophone, but it's enough to be able to make a phone call in a Web page for the first time."
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Wengo Releases Flash Softphone For Web Pages

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  • by metamatic ( 202216 ) on Saturday December 16, 2006 @11:17PM (#17273894) Homepage Journal
    "Visio" suggests something visual, i.e. a phone with video chat. But there doesn't seem to be any video involved.

    Also, can Wengo interoperate with Gizmo and/or iChat? If not, why not?
  • by ZahnRosen ( 1040004 ) on Saturday December 16, 2006 @11:25PM (#17273942) Homepage
    Random harassing phone call from any slob on the internet? No thanks!
  • by BoboB-69 ( 1034912 ) on Saturday December 16, 2006 @11:26PM (#17273950)

    I can see one or two rare situations where this would be of use, but generally, uses are there for this type of technology?
    This is an incredibly useful tool. It makes it easy for any company to easily allow its customers to contact the company directly via telephones. All while leveraging the exisiting telephony infrastructure. There are wide-ranging uses for this type of connectivity for corporate use. Many users do not want to download helper applications and being able to just click on a web page to make a phone call is extremely helpful for them. IRC and other techno-weenie tools may be useful for the slashdot crowd, but nothing beats a no-brainer point and click in a web page for the vast majority of website users.
  • by daeg ( 828071 ) on Saturday December 16, 2006 @11:35PM (#17274020)
    Do you really think those same non-tech savvy customers can configure microphones (or even have them)?

    Honestly, I don't see a real use for this. If a company wants to leverage their telephony infrastructure, they can post their phone number in an easy to find location. If they want to cut down on costs, they can simply post a direct number and not a toll-free number (which cost extra).

    Real phones have the advantage of not disconnecting if a user closes their browser window, their laptop suddenly goes into standby, Windows decides its time to reboot for updates, or Spyware decides to show 20 popup windows.

    Cool idea, I just don't see much application for this.
  • by metamatic ( 202216 ) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @12:03AM (#17274212) Homepage Journal
    I'm less convinced. I often encounter web sites that provide information and then ask me to call a phone number and talk to someone to actually take action. Well, screw that--if I wanted to talk to someone, I wouldn't be using the web in the first place, I'd have reached for the phone at the start.
  • by prichardson ( 603676 ) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @12:06AM (#17274220) Journal
    All Macs that come with built-in monitors also come with built-in microphones. This has been the case for quite a few years. They just work and have sound quality that's good enough for audio chats.
  • by bobcat7677 ( 561727 ) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @04:19AM (#17275378) Homepage
    Convienience on the web is live text chat. It has WAY less pitfalls then VOIP. Text Chat doesn't suffer from QOS problems. Text Chat will probably not drop the connection if there is high latency or a momentary loss of connectivity. The system can be anything with a keyboard. Agents can potentially handle multiple chat sessions at once.

    Meanwhile VOIP requires a relatively modern computer, sound card, speakers, microphone, larger software footprint. Call quality can be horrible or downright unusable for a variety of reasons from microphone (or lack thereof) to speakers to latency to audio on "mute" to localized accents of people in east vs west or whereever. An agent is only going to be able to handle one VOIP caller at a time, ever.

    Fancy and flashy makes headlines and gives pointy hairs something to BS about and force their subordinates to impliment, simple and reliable makes cusomers happy and companies efficient. The high pressure marketers will argue that they make more sales if they actually get to talk to the customer as the agent can keep them as a captive audience more or less if they are any good at controlling the conversation. But I still have to go back to the above comparison. If the customer can't connect or can't communicate with the agent, then you are pretty much guaranteed to lose the sale as the customer's short attention span will be maxed out and they will move on to the next best option (IE: one of your competitors).
  • by LiquidFire_HK ( 952632 ) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @02:04PM (#17278268)
    Er.. how do you configure a microphone? Provided sound works (and you would need that in order to talk to anyone), I just plug mine in and it works. Even in Linux. As a matter of fact, the connector is the same color as the jack, so I don't even have to figure out where I should be plugging it in. As for the other arguments, I agree. It is trivial, however, to make the web page show a dialog via JS if you attempt to leave/close the page.

I THINK MAN INVENTED THE CAR by instinct. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.