IM As the New

By Gene Koprowski  |  Posted 2005-08-24 Print this article Print

Telephone"> If these plans prevail, Microsoft, Google and Skype will be pushing the PC to become a major competitor to the telephone for voice communications. "IM is becoming the new telephone," said Jacob Guedalia, chief executive officer of iSkoot Inc., a technology developer in Cambridge, Mass., in an interview with Ziff Davis Internet.
"It is taking people away from the telephone. As it has developed, it has been text. Voice has lagged as an application. Now voice is going to be a big application for IM. This is going to be a really significant market."
Guedalia said that this will start to change the focus of Web portals—like Google and Yahoo—from aggregating eyeballs to "aggregating earballs, so to speak. These companies may some day be the new phone companies." Interlands Neumeier said Skype is clever to wrap its VOIP offering with its IM availability. Guedalia agreed. "Businesspeople are already sitting at their desks at work," he said. "Why not use Skype for VOIP and IM?" There are, however, problems with using IM in the enterprise. "IM today comes with a huge Corporate Misery Index—bandwidth drain, employee distractions, vulnerability to viruses and worms … and thats not even touching on SOX [the Sarbanes-Oxley Act]," Neumeier said. That means that these players will likely roll out enterprise-specific IM applications in the near future, once they have captivated business users with their capabilities. Whoever comes to market with that technology will have to make all IM applications interoperable, experts tell Ziff Davis Internet. "There remains one problem, and thats the bells-and-whistles that you get with the specialized IM clients," Marton Anka, chief technology officer with 3am Labs, a Woburn, Mass.-based remote access and administration provider, told Ziff Davis Internet. Anka added, "I have IM contacts using every possible variation of services, so Ive switched to Trillian Pro quite some time ago and never looked back. The only problem with interoperation—be that with a unified client such as Trillian or via an open protocol like Jabber—is that you lose all the nifty stuff you get with specialized clients. I can only use my Trillian account to chat, while MSN allows me to send files, or do video conferencing, etc." Check out eWEEK.coms for more on IM and other collaboration technologies.


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