Yahoo Officially Entering the VOIP Market
The Associated Press is reporting that Yahoo is tweaking its existing Yahoo Messenger VOIP offering to add Skype style call out features and let Yahoo Messenger users receive calls from traditional phones to their Yahoo Messenger system. This is a rather large and anticipated step for Yahoo, which was reportedly involved in the Skype bidding war, which led to the eBay acquisition of Skype. Yahoo is probably wanting to get their Yahoo VOIP system rolling and widespead before Meg Whitman revolutionizes Skype to the eBay demographic and Google begins adding similar features to Google Talk.
Yahoo Inc. is entering a suddenly crowded field, offering Skype-like capabilities through its instant-messaging service that will let people dial regular phone numbers using their computers or receive calls from conventional phones.
The company has not set a firm date for the availability of the new paid features to the mostly free Yahoo Messenger service but indicated the launch was imminent.
Yahoo’s addition of computer-to-phone capabilities follows a similar retooling of the rival AOL Instant Messenger service from Time Warner Inc. in October.