Yahoo, Google battling over IM phones

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Mainstream instant messengers are slowly shifting to a new battleground. Yahoo teamed up with Linksys for a dual-mode PC/landline cordless phone, while Camrivox has developed two IP office phones embedding Google Talk.

Linksys has previously rolled out a previous model working with the Skype VoIP client. The Yahoo cordless phone provides the same features, plus selected extra little features like weather reports. Why not all services? According to Linksys senior director of consumer business, this was because Linksys “didn’t want to overwhelm the consumer with too many options and menus.”

For Camrivox, the choice was the Google Talk client. Users of the Flexor 500 IP phone could access their account through two adapters, one restricted to VoIP, one for dual-mode PC/landline. Although GTalk user base is a lot smaller than Skype or Yahoo, the client infuses into other main services, such as GMail. The bet could pay, but GTalk isn’t itself pushed in front of other services. That’s the tough point Camrivox has to overcome, how to market its product, as Linksys just rely on Skype and Yahoo IM marketing efforts.

Nov 10, 2006 | By Nuno

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