Acquisition of Telio showcases Microsoft seriousness in VoIP market space
Not to be left out in the VoIP frenzy, Microsoft has announced the acquisition of Teleo, a VoIP service provider similar to Skype, making it clear to its competitors and friends alike that Microsoft be taken as a serious player in VoIP market.
The aggressive VoIP announcement from the stables of Microsoft comes close on the heels of Google launching its VoIP service Google Talk, seen by observers as a potential threat to Internet Messaging providers like MSN, Yahoo, AOL and Skype. Microsoft’s acquisition also is an answer to rival Yahoo acquisition of Dialpad.
Yahoo had recently launched its own VoIP-enabled instant messaging (IM) product. With the Dialpad acquisition, Yahoo is looking to move into the VoIP carrier market and further expand upon Dialpad’s voice services as a core component of Yahoo’s communications offering.
In addition to new entrant Google, Microsoft’s main instant messaging competitors are Yahoo! and AOL. Yahoo!’s instant messenger had 78.8 million users in July, compared with 189.7 million for MSN Messenger and 64.4 million for Time Warner Inc.’s AOL Instant Messenger.
Founded in 2003, Teleo, a a small San Francisco start-up, is an ideal bet for Microsoft as it will allow Microsoft to incorporates Teleo’s technology into its consumer products like its instant-messaging program. According to Microsoft release, “Teleo technologies will help us improve the way customers make VoIP calls from MSN offering”
Teleo completed its beta testing in July and had wound down its service for further application developments and enhancements
Teleo provides downloadable software that enables free, SIP-compatible Teleo-to-Teleo voice calls, and the ability to make calls to, and receive calls from, the PSTN from a PC..
Teleo’s initial beta offering was designed to enable VoIP calling from a PC to standard phone or PC with click-to-call dialing through Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Internet Explorer.
However Teleo is way behind its rival Skype as it doesn’t have its own messenger service as well as it costs $4.95 per month compared to Skype which is sold free of cost to subscribers.
With the acquisition of Teleo Inc Microsoft will be able to bring VOIP deeper into projects under development for consumer applications.
Microsoft isn’t providing any detail about its future plans for Teleo, other than that it plans to integrate Teleo’s capabilities into its MSN portal, similar to way that Yahoo plans to use Dialpad.
Yahoo plans to integrate Dialpad’s technology with its new IM product to develop new VoIP services. Microsoft already uses VoIP technology in some products, including its instant-messaging program albeit not at a complex level.
A key part of Teleo’s technology lies in providing the ability to make calls from a PC to a standard telephone or cell phone. This feature will likely be integrated into MSN Messenger by the end of the year and MSN portal which already includes a VoIP feature, and expects to deliver new VoIP consumer applications in future releases of MSN services.
Microsoft started aggressively pushing for VoIP products in the early 2002 after its own voice enabled messenger service was thought to have serious flaws in terms of voice quality and clarity.
Microsoft and Teleo did not provide financial details on the acquisition, but did say that members of the Teleo executive team would continue to work with MSN following the acquisition, and product developers from the company are expected to now join the MSN team
The article first appeared on iLocus website