MSN takes on Skype

What is the big problem with Microsoft? They do a lot of things, most of them are either poor or average at best. Occasionally like Microsoft Office for Mac, they are very very good. Their products have a feeling of feature creep to it. Microsoft Outlook perhaps is the only product they get right (on surface, but miss out on security. But being a Mac user, not my problem!) I feel the same more-is-better approach in their yet another attempt to reinvent MSN Messenger software. According to Microsoft this is more VoIP friendly, and will allow people to make phone calls just like Skype. Okay the new MSN lets you make PC2PC video calls, like Apple’s iChat. I think MSN IM client has finally caught up with Apple’s iChat, though comparing itself to Skype (as in today’s Wall Street Journal) is much cooler!

Skype ( and I am no fan of the security problems they pose or their proprietary technology) is an Internet Voice client that does some IM, while MSN is an IM client that is pretending to do voice, along with hotmail e-mail service and MSN Spaces, their luke warm blogging tool. Guess which one is better! (Get the MSN Space free, as long as Microsoft can hang a billboard on it. Bah!)

Talking about the IP voice, Robin Kellet, product manager for MSN Messenger in Europe, told the Wall Street Journal, that they have ripped out “the old architecture and put a new one in,” which means now the “software can now make calls through corporate firewalls that would normally block Internet calls.” Oh goody yet another Microsoft vulnerability to exploit, but again being a Mac user, not my problem. I want to know more about how this will work – what technology they are using? Will there be a PC2PSTN phone service? Does it use SIP? Nothing? What Microsoft – despite Scoble – doesn’t get that the whole VoIP thing is happening in the “open media space.” I still like their enterprise VoIP initiative!


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