Microsoft sets its sites on Google Talk, Skype, and beyond

Microsoft is about to announce that it is acquiring an Internet start-up called Teleo. Teleo is developing a voice over IP technology that is similar to what is found in Skype and the new Google Talk.

Sources say that Microsoft intends to integrate this technology into an upcoming version of MSN. Teleo's voice over IP technology revolves mostly around making calls to normal phones. Presently, Teleo offers a monthly $4.95 service that allows users to make calls to traditional phones for 2 cents per minute world-wide. It also provides users with their own unique phone number that allows users to call them via a regular phone (imbound calling). In essence, users receive their own universal net phone number and users can call it with their regular phones.

Other features include being able to insert click-to-call commands in email and webpages, conferencing, call forwarding, voice mail, and more.

The acquisition puts MSN in a more direct head to head competition with Skype and Google's recently released "Google Talk". When these features will first show up in MSN is anyone's guess.

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