Joining the AjaxWorld flurry of announcements, desktop tools provider Laszlo Systems is repackaging its offerings and adding a new alliance with a provider of ‘softphone’ VoIP software.
The new version of Laszlo’s Webtop bundles a couple of small productivity apps, covering mail and contact management, which it previously offered a la carte. And it has changed the packaging of the Webtop product, with separate editions for Internet service providers, enterprises, and developers.
The service provider edition will be charged by user, and support integration of advertising banners or various services that may or may not be ad-based. The enterprise edition will emphasize tools for integrating features such as dashboards, rich content, portlets, delivery of event-based services such as financial data. Finally, the developer edition provides a software development kit that supports the goodies for both the enterprise or service provider editions, but without deployment licenses.
Additionally, Laszlo announced a new alliance with CounterPath Solutions, a provider of softphone and SIP applications that can turn your computer or wireless device into a VoIP phone. Both companies will bundle and integrate their offerings into a new product, CMC WebPhone. It will tie in the contacts and mail features of the Laszlo webtop with CounterPath’s voice applications. You will be able to develop an application that runs on the Laszlo WebTop, enabling you to click on a contact and place a VoIP phone cal by simply dragging and dropping.
Although similar to Skype, the difference with the Laszlo/CounterPath offering will be the ability to trigger a VoIP softphone directly from a web 2.0 application, rather than running as a standalone popup in your browser.
CMC WebPhone will be able to handle multiple calls, including accepting inbound or making outbound and take advantage of features such as call waiting and alerts for incoming calls. Eventually, both companies plan to integrate instant messaging along with the bundled email and VoIP.
Laszlo has been known for development of a Web 2.0 rich framework that was considered a third way between Microsoft’s Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) and Adobe’s Flex. It did so initially with an extended Ajax framework that also let you use the Flash run time. It open sourced the framework, made its business the typical open source support via subscription model, and subsequently decoupled the Flash run time.
Today, household names like Wal-Mart, H&R Block, and Verizon’s ISP home pages are key customers. And Laszlo’s looking to the open source community to provide more add-on apps that pick up where its contacts and mail leave off. The focus on Webtop is part of a more recent redirection to becoming more of a conventional software tooling provider.
Laszlo’s Webtop editions are available now, while the CMC WebPhone will be available for general release later this year.