Thursday, December 08, 2005 - Yahoo Updates Messenger's Phone Features

Local and long distance calls for a penny a minute is a great deal. The phone business continues to run into the internet business.

Yahoo has thrown in a creative twist; you can have your instant messenger calls ring to a local phone number for $2.99 per month. I am not sure, but it seems that one would not even need a computer to get calls from other Yahoo users.

This is another deal that will tie Yahoo customers to Yahoo. It also another small hit to the phone companies. This train is gathering momentum. At some point, millions are going to abandon phone company service.

Skype and Google Talk are hard at work. They are preparing to offer the next generation of service. Skype has a portable wifi phone in development. I forecast that this phone and similar ones will be big sellers. Why pay Yahoo $2.99 per month to transfer internet calls to a phone service that cost another $15 or more per month? A wifi Skype phone would eventually give almost ubiquitous use with most calls free and Skype out calls for 2 cents.

What will Google offer? Only the Shadow Knows. The rest must wait patiently with anticipation that it will be better than either service offered by Skype or Yahoo.