A million things have gotten in the way of my blogging during the last month. But I haven\’t completely disappeared. I\’m working on some lengthy and thoughtful posts about subscription business models, company culture, web site usability (and how overlooked it is), building community online, an update on Provo Labs incubator portfolio, and more. I have several in draft mode right now.
Microsoft has purchased internet-calling startup
Teleo, which may enable them to offer features in MSN Messenger similar
to what SkypeOut offers — the ability to make a phone call from your
computer to an ordinary telephone.
Since last year we have seen rumors about Google getting into the IM space and into the VOIP space. Today Google launched Google Talk,
(here\’s a news story)
an instant messaging client that incorporates voice as well. I searched
Google for \”Google Talk\” and I went to talk.google.com (just a guess)
and couldn\’t find anything. (They haven\’t pre-programmed their own
index for this launch–I wonder how long it will take for them to be #1
In the biggest VC funding round since 2000, Vonage, a leader in voice over IP telephone solutions raised $200 milllion
led by Bain Capital in Boston. It will be very interesting to watch
Vonage vs. Skype. Check out the Mary Meeker quote about Skype in this
Another milestone for the distruptive VOIP company with headquarters in Luxembourg. They have also recently announced two more premium services, Skype Voicemail and SkypeIn.
As I have said many times before, the most powerful internet marketing tactic of all is to give away something valueable and free. Successful business models will then monetize the huge audience you attract with premium or add-on services or advertising revenue, a la Google.
Skype continues to disrupt. With 16.7 million downloads, they are now preparing a commercial service that allows Skype users to make phone calls that terminate on land lines. They announced 4 partnerships today.