From another renegade, Michael Robertson of Lindows fame, we have PhoneGaim, another Skype-like application.
I know I’m late to the party with this and it has already been blogged a lot, but I thought I would mention it and provide a little of my own, perhaps predictable, perspective.
First, as one would expect, I support the effort. PhoneGaim supports SIP (Session Initiation Protocol), an interoperable standard. That’s good news for achieving a network-effect long-term, so we will have someone to talk to. It is based on the popular Gaim IM client and it’s open-source. Those are all good things.
This was funded by the Lindows folks, so it’s no surprise that they are only releasing Lindows (Linspire) versions. However, the source is available for download so I expect, if the application is any good, it will be ported to other platforms (including Windows). I have not experiemented with this application myself yet, as I don’t use Linspire/Lindows and I have not had time (or the inclination) to attempt a port myself.
Let’s hope some of these alternatives get some traction, before we find ourselves in another IM-style quagmire with Voice where none of the products talk to each other nor with the rest of the industry standard SIP systems.