eBay comes around, begins to realize Skype needs to go

By on January 26, 2009 at 10:51 AM.

eBay comes around, begins to realize Skype needs to go

Not long ago, a story ran around the blogosphere pitching the idea that Apple should take the piles of cash it’s sitting on and use it to revolutionize the banking industry. Sure, “iBank” is an interesting concept but there’s one major rub: Apple knows nothing about banking. Apple is a computer company, a digital service company, a hardware manufacturer, a software company and many other things, but it is by no means a bank. The time, new hires, training and investment it would take to prep Cupertino for a banking entrance negates much of the potential benefit and as such, it won’t happen. The same can be said for an online auction house entering the telco industry – the only problem is the latter example actually happened. When eBay purchased Skype four years ago for $2.6 billion, many wondered what it was thinking. Now, four years later, eBay finally seems to be wondering the same thing… What were we thinking? As a result of some comments made by eBay CEO John Donahoe regarding its recent earnings call, the internet is ablaze once again with rumors that the company is finally looking to offload Skype. Donahoe:

[Skype would make a] great stand-alone busines… The synergies between Skype and the other parts of our portfolio are minimal. We’re going to continue to run and operate the business. It’s not a distraction currently. And at such time when we have further announcements on that, we’ll let you know.

Of course as is always the case with any story citing analyst sources and inference, this is all speculation for the time being. We consider this a feeler from Donahoe; I’ll be taking calls from interested parties, if you will. Bottom line? eBay is an auction house. Paypal – awesome, logical buy. Skype – not so much.

[Via DealBook]

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Nokia announces Nokia Messaging

By on December 2, 2008 at 11:41 AM.

Nokia announces Nokia Messaging

It’s been a long time in the making but Nokia has finally announced the culmination of its recent development and acquisitions: Nokia Messaging. The service is essentially a combination of messaging applications rolled up into what should be a nice and tidy little package. Mobile email, PIM management, Instant Messaging, push delivery services and more are all covered by the new Nokia Messaging product. There will also be an available web portal into the service (and how about a desktop suite built with Adobe Air?) that will allow users to send and receive email, manage files and more from any web browser. Tom Furlong, Senior Vice President, Consumer Messaging, Services & Software had this to say:

We believe everybody should have mobile messaging – it’s not a privilege service that’s meant only for a certain segment of the market. With Nokia Messaging, our customers can simply and affordably gain mobile access to the world’s most popular email and IM accounts. We are making mobile messaging an affordable experience for everyone, not just for those with specialized phones designed for messaging, but for everyone with a Nokia device.

We’re not exactly sure which comparable mobile devices don’t come with messaging as the beginning of that quote alludes to, but more options are always a good thing. There will be cost associated with this service of course, or at least with certain parts of it, so we can only hope Nokia doesn’t use carriers to force Nokia Messaging on users who might still prefer whatever free option they are accustomed to.

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Palringo for iPhone Updated, PTT Now Supported

By on August 18, 2008 at 2:52 PM.

Palringo for iPhone Updated, PTT Now Supported

It has been less than one month since Palringo added its IM application to the iPhone App Store and we already have the major revision promised when it was released on July 29. The most notable addition of course, is Push-to-Talk (PTT) support. PTT, or vocal IM as they often call it in this case, is the feature that sets Palringo apart from competitors on various other platforms and now the great functionality is available to iPhone users as well. So how does it work? Just like standard PTT services, simply select a contact from your contact list and hold a [virtual] button while speaking. Finish talking, release the button and your audio recording is quickly delivered to the recipient. Incoming PTT messages can be played automatically or manually depending on your settings and they will play right from within the app. Of course Palringo also supports messaging to a variety of other IM platforms such as GTalk, Yahoo and AIM and they aren’t left out when it comes to PTT. The catch of course is that these IM services don’t support PTT so any vocal messages, just like picture messages, will be delivered as a link to the file hosted on Palringo servers. The recipient can then easily click the link and view your image file or play the PTT message right from within any standard browser. Of course the addition of PTT support doesn’t change the fact that the app is free and since all iPhones are sold with unlimited data, you’ve now got unlimited PTT as well – to any handset running Palringo on any network! Take that, carriers.

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Palringo for iPhone Now Available

By on July 29, 2008 at 9:16 AM.

Palringo for iPhone Now Available

If you have an S60, Windows Mobile or BlackBerry smartphone then you should already know about Palringo. They call it “rich messaging” and we call it a good IM application with support for AIM, Google Talk, Yahoo! Messenger, Gadu Gadu, ICQ, Jabber, Windows Live Messenger and Palringo’s own IM platform. For a quick recap on what sets Palringo apart, here are the three core functions:

  • Text IM: Standard, run-of-the-mill instant messaging.
  • Vocal IM: More commonly known as Push to Talk (PTT), users can instantly exchange voice messages in near real-time. Think of it as a free walkie talkie on your mobile. Palringo -> Palringo voice messages will play automatically on the recipient’s device, just like PTT. Palringo -> ‘Other’ messages will be delivered as links that the recipient can click on to play the audio file hosted on Palringo’s servers.
  • Image IM: Exactly what it sounds like. Click the picture button and Palringo will activate the handset’s camera. Snap a picture, hit send and the image will display right in the Palringo client on the recipient’s handset. Users can also send images to third-party IM services (GTalk, AIM, etc). Just like voice IM, your contact will receive a link that will allow him / her to view and save the image hosted on Palringo’s servers.

Now, iPhone owners have access to what is likely one of the most versatile mobile IM apps on the market. For the time being, functionality is limited to text and image messaging but Palringo promises vocal IM in the second release version. In the meantime, iPhone owners can now enjoy free text and image IM on whichever IM platform they like. Just hit the App Store and you’re good to go.

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Palringo Launches BlackBerry Client; Text, Voice and Image IM

By on June 19, 2008 at 9:18 AM.

Palringo Launches BlackBerry Client; Text, Voice and Image IM

After what has been quite a long wait for many eager BlackBerry users, Palringo has finally made its BlackBerry IM client available to the public. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Palringo’s IM client, it’s definitely time to remedy that. Already fairly popular on Symbian and Windows Mobile devices, Palringo provides text, voice and image IM services – for free. Beyond its own IM service it also supports just about every popular IM platform like Google Talk, AIM, MSN Yahoo and more. Let’s break it down by service:

  • Text IM: Standard, run-of-the-mill instant messaging.
  • Voice IM: More commonly known as Push to Talk (PTT), users can instantly exchange voice messages in near real-time. Think of it as a free walkie talkie on your mobile. PTT is a service that has been very limited in consumer acceptance due to high prices, handset compatibility issues and carrier limitations. Enter Palringo. Now that a solid java client is available, for free, PTT couldn’t be more accessible. Also of note, Palringo supports voice messaging to third-party IM clients (GTalk, AIM, etc) as well. While Palringo -> Palringo voice messages will play automatically on the recipient’s device, Palringo -> ‘Other’ messages will be delivered as links that the recipient can click on to play the audio file hosted on Palringo’s servers.
  • Image IM: Exactly what it sounds like. Click the picture button and Palringo will activate the handset’s camera. Snap a picture, hit send and the image will display right in the Palringo client on the recipient’s handset. Users can also send images to third-party IM services (GTalk, AIM, etc). Just like voice IM, your buddy will receive a link that will allow him / her to view and even save the image hosted on Palringo’s servers.

Palringo also includes some other nice features such as group chat with image and voice support; meaning you can send one text, voice or image IM that will be received simultaneously by any number of users in a group. To download the app on your BlackBerry, just visit palringo.mobi from your mobile browser or hit the read link to visit Palringo’s site and check out other download options.

UPDATE: Sorry guys, we forgot to mention that for the time being you’ll need a Pearl, Curve or 8800 series to play.

[Via Press Release]

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