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Gizmo Takes On Skype

Posted by: Rob Hof on July 2, 2005

Michael Robertson seems to enjoy trying to shake up the powers that be, as he did in music with and in computer software with Lindows (now Linspire). Now, he has jumped into the surging field of Internet telephony with Gizmo, the working name for a voice-over-Internet protocol program from his latest venture, SIPphone. Robertson, naturally, thinks the more open nature of Gizmo will win over millions of people who have been using Skype, the runaway hit in free Internet telephony. Gizmo uses the open Session Initiation Protocol vs. Skype’s proprietary technology.

With 41 million users, up to 3 million making calls at any one time, and some promising revenue opportunities such as the ability to call regular phones, Skype clearly isn’t hurting yet. But Gizmo’s challenge just goes to show that these days, more than ever, there’s a vanishingly brief window of opportunity for upstarts—especially when all these new technologies help us users get together to keep companies honest.

Reader Comments


July 2, 2005 8:33 PM

May have to give this a try. I prefer open standards-based solutions and Skype always made me nervous as the developers were of Kazaa fame and that turned into a spyware/adware popup-generating mess. This should also be of interest to interview type podcasters as you can record conversations without jumping through hoops (supposedly).

Brian P

July 3, 2005 3:42 AM

I'm a podcaster and I just tried out the recording ability of Gizmo with another podcaster. Read about it here:


Dave Howe

July 3, 2005 6:12 AM

Took a good look around the site, and noticed a lack of mention of two things - Encryption, and Source Code.

There are already plenty of SIP solutions out there - I fail to see why one more closed source, non-encryption SIP phone is worthy of mention. Gizmo appears to offer nothing that Free World Dialup or indeed the SIP client built into the Yahoo client doesn't.

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Bloomberg Businessweek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, and Douglas MacMillan, dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.



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