Yahoo's Messenger Implements Dial-Out/In Features

Yahoo plans to upgrade its messenger service with a capability that lets users dial out from the instant messaging service interface
to traditional or mobile phones, a Yahoo executive said Monday.

Yahoo Messenger users will also be able to rent
one or more phone numbers from Yahoo to receive phone calls through the
IM (instant message) interface, said Jeff Bonforte, the Sunnyvale,
California, company's senior director of voice product management. 

To use this feature, which Yahoo calls "phone
out," Yahoo Messenger users need to prepay for the calls in chunks of
either $10 or $25, but the unused credit never expires, so a user could
theoretically buy $10 worth of calls and take years to spend the
amount, he said.

Yahoo Messenger has had PC-to-PC voice communications for years, and it has offered users a fee-based option to dial out to
a phone number using the third-party Net2Phone service. 

However, this voice capability is now being tightly integrated with Yahoo Messenger and will be threaded into various other
Yahoo online services in the future.

Yahoo hasn't yet announced when the new Yahoo
Messenger version with these phone-out/phone-in capabilities will
become available.

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News source: InfoWorld

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