Alex Salkever is baaaack… asking, “with iChat, who needs a phone?” Salkever is alternating with Charles Haddad on Byte of the Apple for BusinessWeek.
“Apple’s latest tech wizardry makes voice calling over the Net a snap. That could be a push off a cliff for today’s telecom giants. Give Steve Jobs credit. For a man who heads a comparatively small technology company, he sure knows how to alter the tech landscape,” Salkever writes. “…the phone companies are about to get whacked by Jobs’s quest to give Apple users something else they want. I’m talking about the latest beta version of iChat. Released in late June at Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference, the new version lets iChat users go beyond typed text messaging to actual voice conversations over the Net.”
Salkever writes,”iChat has several insanely great things going for it. Installation is painless, in the Apple tradition. Also very Apple-like, the system works flawlessly right off the bat. And it coexists easily with a popular existing function, instant text messaging. The voice quality is just a notch below regular phone service and several notches above cell-phone connections. Unlike most other software designed to let people speak directly to each other over the Net, iChat is ‘duplexed.’ That means if two people talk at the same time, they can still hear what the other is saying because the connection can handle traffic going in both directions simultaneously.”
“In the past, Apple has contributed to big technological shifts such as introducing the graphical user interface to consumers and, more recently, creating a viable platform for digital music sales online. If past is prologue, then Jobs’s latest innovation could hasten a coming age when anyone who wants to can use their PC to bypass traditional phone services,” Salkever writes.
Full article here.