Intel Corp’s Internet telephone software may help turn the long-distance software on its head, but it isn’t going to happen any time soon. Describing its software, being given away starting tomorrow, the Santa Clara, California-based chip giant went so far as to say it wouldn’t use it’s own product for business purposes. It’s not a […]
Intel Corp’s Internet telephone software may help turn the long-distance software on its head, but it isn’t going to happen any time soon. Describing its software, being given away starting tomorrow, the Santa Clara, California-based chip giant went so far as to say it wouldn’t use it’s own product for business purposes. It’s not a secure and dedicated service so it’s not really suited for corporate companies. At Intel – like other companies – our calls mean money, so you can’t take the chance of losing the line, the firm said. The software can be downloaded at http://www.intel.com/iaweb/cpc, and allows users to call each other and talk over the Internet from their computers using a microphone and speakers. It works with Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Internet Explorer and Intel recommends a Pentium PC with 16Mb RAM running Windows 95, although it adds that the software is interoperable with any platform – Mac, Sun – that adheres to the H.323 teleconferencing standard. Whilst calls may only cost as much as the local connection to the Internet, both the caller and receiver provide the same kind of full duplexing performance as existing Internet phone products from companies such as VocalTec Inc. Intel doesn’t care if it doesn’t make a dime from the software, but it hopes the software will help grow the PC market by 20% this year. Intel expects the software will initially be popular for recreational purposes where lag-times and line failures won’t make such a difference; kids playing networked games over computers who want to talk at the same time is one example it gave. The Wall Street Journal reports 30,000 people use Internet phone software to make long distance calls every day, with delays in voice transmission of as much as half a second. Last week Intel struck a cross-licensing deal with Microsoft Corp under which Intel is able to use Redmond’s User Location Service technology to identify users’ IP addresses during log in, since these telephone numbers change each time a users comes on line. The software will mean users can search for each other similar to using a phone book. Microsoft in turn will use Intel’s Internet phone in its NetMeeting product, which allows users to talk through their computers as well as share on screen data, Microsoft said yesterday. NetMeeting will be distributed from Microsoft’s Web site in September and will eventually be folded into the Windows operating system. Expect more details on Intel’s Internet phone strategy on Wednesday.