Online Exclusive: Microsoft Strikes BackIt seems that software giant Microsoft has officially joined the online communications race with its purchase of Teleo, a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) software and services provider.
Search engine leader Google introduced Google Talk the previous week, and many suspect that Microsoft's recent purchase is a counterattack to the procession of Google's online reign.
Teleo has been placed under Microsoft's MSN umbrella, likely to be used with MSN applications such as MSN Messenger, which currently supports PC to PC calling but not PC to phone as Teleo's VoIP would allow it to do. The product possibly could be integrated with other Microsoft applications such as Outlook, allowing users to make a PC-to-phone call simply by clicking on a phone number in their address books or in an e-mail.
The Teleo acquisition could even help Microsoft's Internet Explorer -- the leading Internet browser -- defend its dominant position against the increasingly popular Mozilla Firefox browser, which many critics and users claim is more secure than IE. Teleo's VoIP technology combined with IE's online clout might boost the browser's credibility, in addition to offering added features.
The world of Internet communications is heating up. It will be interesting to see what Yahoo's next move will be after Google and MSN have thrown down the gauntlet. The effect on the use and popularity of their (Google, Yahoo, MSN) proprietary search engines no doubt will be a result of not only which has the largest number of pages indexed or delivers the best search relevancy, but also who offers the better branded and most publicized services overall.