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Skype Gets Cloned!
[July 06, 2005]

Skype Gets Cloned!

New free Project Gizmo SIP-based softphone by SIPphone Inc. is similar to Skype.

TMCnet VoIP Minute Watch Columnist

Skype’s gotten cloned! The new free Project Gizmo SIP-based softphone by SIPphone Inc. has reached the market and it’s so similar to Skype, we might just want to call it a clone of the popular software. With a calling plan called CallOut, the service even lets users call regular land line phones just like the SkypeOut plan. Gizmo users are also able to pick a number local to the U.S. or the U.K. as part of the Gizmo CallIn plan, which is an optional feature comparable to SkypeIn.

You might have even heard the name of Project Gizmo’s creator before. Michael Robertson, founder of SIPphone Inc., a VoIP startup, is the name behind, Linspire, and Robertson founded SIPphone Inc. in April 2003 to build a VoIP platform and directory called dialtone on which hardware or software developers could offer free, VoIP-based services.

Just as with Skype, any call to a Gizmo Project user is free, without a monthly service charge. The only calls users could ever pay for are calls to land line and cellular phones. Just as with SkypeOut, Gizmo CallOut users are able to purchase credits for way lower than long distance per-minute charged calls. Gizmo CallOut users, for example, are able to use $10 in credits to talk for over 9 hours to someone in the U.S., or almost six hours to the U.K. CallOut rates are the same no matter where the user lives in the world. As long the user makes a call every six months, the credits never expire.

Just as with SkypeIn, if a Gizmo user wants to receive calls from land line and cellular phones, they will be able to attach a standard telephone number to their Gizmo Project account. This extra feature is called Gizmo CallIn and it costs $5 a month, billed to users in three or six month increments. With a standard phone number attached to their Gizmo account, users can be reached online by calls from any phone. The person calling users with this feature with a mobile or landline phone is billed exactly as if they were calling the area code of the user’s Gizmo CallIn number. When users travel, the CallIn number goes with them. Users can choose from over 50 cities across the U.S. or choose a national number in the U.K. They can add as many Gizmo CallIn numbers to their account as they like, although users are currently limited to add just one number every 30 days.

The Gizmo Project softphone is both Mac and PC-compatible. SIPphone has plans to also make the softphone Linux-compatible soon. New users can download the software client and register for the service right from the application in a matter of seconds. Users might consider purchasing a microphone or a headset to use this application.

Gizmo Project

SIPphone Inc.

Skype Technologies S.A.

Johanne Torres is contributing editor for TMCnet. To see more articles by Johanne Torres, please visit:

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