Thursday, June 16, 2005

Xten joins the Yahoo! Messenger arsenal: now what? OK, here's what

Russell Shaw


Now this is getting real interesting.
Late yesterday, Xten Networks, which makes VoIP-enabled softphones, said that Yahoo! has licenced the Xten eyeBeam software development kit to deliver SIP-based VoIP in Yahoo! Messenger.
Yahoo! Messenger director (now that sounds like a fun job) Frazier Miller said that the app will be for PC-to-PC calling.
Earlier this week if you remember (or even if you don't), Yahoo! announced it was buying softphone provider and developer Dialpad.
To analyze how the two announcements might affect Yahoo! Messenger's voice capabilities, I looked at the overview of the eyeBeam SDK.
It has 28 APIs (Application Programming Interface) models. The IM API has some robust development design functionality for call management and contact management menus.
I wouldn't be surprised then, if Yahoo! Messenger uses the Dialpad GUI, but integrates the functionality capable of being formulated by the eyeBeam SDK to beef up call management functions necessary to get Dialpad to work within Yahoo! Messenger.
So,putting two and three together, it sounds to me that what we have here is a souped-up Yahoo! Messenger with under-the-hood SIP-based PC to PC calling technology based on Xten's SDK, but with the Dialpad GUI spawned within Yahoo! Messenger when you make a call to actual phone numbers.
What happens, then, is a souped up Yahoo! Messenger that is a feature-set rival to Skype, and by virtue of a presumed low price point, will compete with pure-play VoIP providers such as Vonage and Packet 8. Oh,and with PSTN services too - such as Yahoo!s broadband Internet access partner SBC.
Eventually, though, as I said here Tuesday, I'd look for a co-branded SBCYahoo! IM client.
Now, it becomes clear, the VoIP component will run on Dialpad, with eyeBeam under the hood.

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