Yahoo! Voice Beta is Out

march 22, 2006

Yahoo! Voice (Beta) has been released. Now you can use Yahoo! Messenger to not only dial-out to regular landline phones, but you can get a phone number for people to call you at your computer ($2.49/mo fee for the Phone-In service). Yahoo! is now in direct competition with Skype, except that Yahoo! prices are lower and there are more service attached to Yahoo! Messenger. The Phone-In service offers phone numbers for US, France, and UK. Looks like a neat service, I'll give it a shot sometime (not that I need yet-another-phone-number though). My question is this: How is Yahoo! Voice or any other computer-based VoIP companies (like Skype) going to compete for my money because I have a mobile phone with more minutes than I can use, free long distance, and don't call outside of the country? If I need to make a long distance call, I use my mobile phone because it is easy, I am paying for the minutes already, and I don't have to fire up my notebook to do it.  I can definitely see the benefits of using this if I needed to call out of country.  But, for domestic long distance, it is hard to figure out why I'd pay 2 cents a minute and have ot be tied to a PC to make a call when I can do it on my mobile phone. What I find cool, and I hope Yahoo! expands into more countries, is that you can get a Phone-In number for wherever you are or wherever you are not.  So, if you have lots of family in London, then get a number there and they can call a local number to talk with you.  That is pretty cool.  Yes, it has been done with other VOiP services also, but I find the idea very cool.