That clicking sound you hear is Microsoft
hanging up on
third-party Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) providers in a coming
upgrade of Windows
Messenger for XP.
Back in 2001, when Windows XP was being positioned as a clearinghouse for
Internet-based services, VoIP firms jostled for
placement on the platform, but, with Microsoft pushing its own .NET
Voice Services, the ability to make phone calls from the instant messaging
application will be removed.
VoIP pioneers Net2Phone
confirmed Microsoft would be deleting the phone service in
Windows Messenger. Both companies sent advisories to registered users
notifying them of the change, which means VoIP minutes can only be purchased
on the public MSN Messenger platform.
“[Microsoft’s] .NET Voice Services is going to be removed from Windows
Messenger when it is next released. If you choose to upgrade to the new
Windows Messenger, the ability to “Make a Phone Call” will be removed,”
Net2Phone said, noting that the .NET service would still be available
through MSN Messenger.
Deltathree’s iConnectHere subsidiary also sent a similar notice to its
subscribers, urging uses to stick with MSN Messenger instead of upgrading to
the new Windows Messenger, which is the default IM client in the XP
The move also affects Korea’s KT, Primus, CallServe and British Telecom
which all had placement to hawk phone minutes in the platform.
Microsoft’s decision to use in-house voice technology exclusively in the
coming upgrade comes as no surprise. The company has already announced
plans to bring speech to Web Services with the release of the .NET
With the speech
technologies fully incorporated in the new Windows Messenger for XP, the
overall plan is to incorporate much of the functionality provided by IM
(chat, Web conferencing, VoIP) on the operating system level.
Windows Messenger comes installed with XP and remains available even if a
user installs the MSN Messenger application. However, only Windows Messenger
can connect to the Communications Service and Exchange Instant Messaging,
which are available mostly for enterprise clients.
For XP users still interested in VoIP services from the third-party
providers, they can keep MSN Messenger running at the same time as Windows Messenger. A users can be signed in to both MSN
Messenger and Windows Messenger at the same time, but not with the same .NET