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IM Product Watch

IM Product Watch

Tech News

IM Product Watch

Posted By Vangie Beal

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WebMessenger has just launched a new product called WebMessenger Mobile for Skype. It allows mobile workers to use their Skype accounts to send and receive VoIP calls on their mobile devices.  WebMessenger Mobile works by connecting the mobile device with the users’ Skype software running on their PC.  WebMessenger Mobile for Skype is available for the BlackBerry, Palm, Pocket PC, Windows Mobile 5.0 and J2ME Java phones. Free versions pf the product support click-to-call from the mobile device, text chat, options to add new contacts, and you can also keep up to 20 contacts from your Skype buddy list on your mobile device. An advanced version of WebMessenger Mobile for Skype is available for a $3.95 monthly subscription and allows multi-party conferencing as well allowing users to store hundreds of contacts.

WebMessenger Mobile for Skype

ICQ is now offering version 5.1 for download. This latest version includes some new features such as more tZers (flash animations), new menu designs, online notifications, new status options, and also incorporates improved voice chat sound quality. Users in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and parts of Asia can also now make calls from PCs to landlines and mobile phones with new ICQ telephony features which includes one-click dialing, call logging, an account balance display and a phone book.

Zion Software has announced its Instant Help product, which aims to help organizations provide real-time sales assistance and support through their own Web site.  Instant Help routes requests from visitors and customers to support staff using IM. It works with existing EIM infrastructures, such as Lotus Sametime, Microsoft LCS or Jabber (XMPP). It also leverages public IM services including AIM, MSN, Yahoo, Google Talk and ICQ. Instant Help is available as a subscription service (hosted and managed by Zion Software) or as a licensed software solution running on your own server. Pricing for Instant Help is based on the number of concurrent Instant Help sessions and base server price where licensed.

The Gizmo Project (free phone for the computer) is giving its users free Internet phone calling to landlines in 60 countries. The service does have a few restrictions on the free calls, such as reserving the right to limit call length, and offering the service only to frequent, registered users. In addition to the free call news, a new version of Windows Gizmo (version 2.0.0.191) was recently released. This version offers enhanced error handling, error reporting and logging aimed to resolve the security image download problem reported by several users. Gizmo is compatible with the Google Talk IM application and, according to the Gizmo Project forums, it is expected that Gizmo and Google Talk users will eventually be able to call each other through this service as well.

Srimax Software Technology has upgraded its Outlook LAN Messenger to version 3.1. Outlook LAN Messenger provides an IM solution within an office LAN & Subnet. Outlook LAN Messenger offers text chat, group chat, voice chat, file transfer, offline messaging, remote desktop sharing, an Microsoft Outlook plug-in, alert notes and admin tools. You can download and try the new version for twenty days free.

Srimax Software Technology’s Outlook LAN Messenger

Boost Mobile has launched IM2Cell, a new service that allows users to send an IM to a Boost mobile phone through the AOL, MSN or Yahoo! IM networks. Those running the IM clients on their PC can chat online with a Boost phone user, who sends and receives the instant messages as a text message.

Codine, developer of the Codine(x) communications platform claims to be one step closer to solving the unified messaging dilemma. Codine(x) promises to unite all types of communication including voice, fax, text messaging, e-mail, instant messaging, and voicemail by means of a unique Codine(x) ID. This ID is a unique name that identifies each Codine(x) user and is similar in nature to a phone number, IM screen name or e-mail address. The message receiver, by means of a private control panel, can select how to be reached. For example, a user may opt to have all incoming Codine(x) communications converted to a printed fax or translated to IM text messages. The Codine(x) service is currently accepting ID reservations at a special price of $19.95 for a two year registration, and users will get an extra year for free. The billing year will not commence until the service is launched, which is expected to be this Fall.

TRENDnet has partnered up with Skylook to bundle its unified messaging software with its own family of Skype products. The Skylook solution integrates Skype with Microsoft Outlook allowing users to make VoIP calls to their Outlook contacts and answer incoming calls directly from within Outlook. It will also automatically send all missed calls or IM communications to a users’ Outlook Inbox, complete with recording in MP3 format and archiving capabilities.

Survey says…
Organizations are putting themselves at e-risk with unmanaged workplace instant messaging and e-mail usage. A new study from the American Management Association (AMA) and The ePolicy Institute provide some interesting numbers in the 2006 Workplace E-Mail, Instant Messaging & Blogs survey. According to the survey, 35 percent of employees use IM at work, yet only 31 percent of organizations have IM policy in place and only 13 percent of those actually retain IM business records. Additionally, the survey reports that 50 percent of workplace IM users send or receive risky content including attachments, jokes, gossip, confidential info, or pornography at work.

Last Week on InstantMessagingPlanet.com

AOL’s AIM service was one of the bigger happenings in Instant Messaging this past week. The official launch of the new AIM Pro service offers new features for everyone, from individuals to small to mid-sized businesses. AIM Pro has a new look and feel, streamlined buddy lists, the ability to use your business e-mail address as your AIM screen name, local logging, business grade security (including SSL encryption and virus scanning), virtual meetings through WebEx, and full integration with Microsoft Outlook. Users who have the Microsoft Outlook client installed can now see Outlook meetings and appointments in the AIM Pro calendar.  Not too shabby for a free download, which, unlike the public AIM Triton client, does not contain advertisements. You can read our coverage of AIM pro here.

In a much talked about announcement Windows Live Messenger and Yahoo! Messenger have launched a new beta to test interoperability between the two public systems. Basically this means that the over 300 million users on the two separate IM services will be able to communicate with each other, see status messages, add new contacts from either service, and more. Those interested in taking part in the interoperability test can download the updated beta clients from the Microsoft or Yahoo! IM Web sites. To chat with buddies on one service from the other, each user will have to have the latest beta versions of the IM clients. If you missed it, our coverage of the interoperability beta is here.

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Written by Vangie Beal

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