Home-office and small-business users get an Internet-calling boost as Yahoo and Linksys team on a dual-mode cordless phone that can be used to make and receive both Internet-based and traditional calls.
Yahoo and Linksys announced on Nov. 9 that they have joined forces on a new dual-mode cordless phone that will allow users to make and receive VOIP calls using Yahoo Messenger as well as calls over a traditional phone line.
The Linksys dual-mode cordless phone for Yahoo Messenger with Voice lets users make free voice-over-IP calls to anyone on their Yahoo Contact List. Consumers who subscribe to Yahoos Phone Out can also use the new phone to make an Internet-based call to any regular or mobile phone.
The phone comes with a base station that connects to a computers USB port and PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) port, which allows users to continue their Yahoo Messenger with Voice calls away from their PCs, as well as change over from a VOIP call to a conventional landline phone call with the touch of a button.
Terrell Karlsten, a spokesperson for Yahoo, in Sunnyvale, Calif., said that the new phone "gives people a fun and convenient way to take advantage of low-cost Internet-based calling anywhere in the home."
Though the new dual-mode cordless phone was mainly designed for consumers, Karlsten told eWEEK that the product could also be beneficial to home-office workers because "it gives business professionals who make a lot of international calls a solution to making low-cost international calls. This would help them with their bottom line."
Users will also be able to search for local business and restaurant information from the new phones using Yahoos Local Search, as well as obtain local weather forecasts through a weather search option.
The new dual-mode cordless phone also comes with an array of features such as:
Yahoo Messenger Status Message (available, online, busy, idle, etc.)
Yahoo Address Book access
Call waiting for both incoming VOIP and PSTN calls
Intercom calls between handsets
Caller ID for both VOIP and PSTN calls
Multilanguage support (English, French and Spanish)
"We share the same vision with Yahoo of not just improving the experience of Internet phone calling, but also offering a valuable combination of Internet-enable features and services that customers will use and really want," said Tarun Loomba, senior director of product marketing for the Linksys Consumer Business Organization, in a statement.
The Linksys dual-mode cordless phone for Yahoo Messenger with Voice is available now for pre-order at Amazon.com at a discounted rate and will be available through other online retailers later this month for an estimated price of $99.99, according to company officials.
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