Yahoo! Inc. has introduced in the United States a new public beta of its instant messaging suite, Yahoo! Messenger with Voice, with PC-based calling capabilities.
With the new service, called Phone Out, consumers in the U.S. can make low-cost Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) calls using their PC to call landline or mobile phones, in the USA and other 180 countries. Calls within the U.S. and to more than 30 countries can be made for two cents a minute or less.
Additionally, U.S. consumers can receive calls on their PC from traditional and mobile phones for US$2.99 a month or US$29.90 a year with the Phone In feature. Phone In gives people a virtual presence in their city of choice, and wherever they travel, their phone number will follow them.
Also added is a Free Voicemail feature, offering people a free voicemail service with both their PC-to-PC inbound calls and Phone In calls. If a call is missed, whether from a PC, traditional phone or mobile phone, people can easily retrieve the message at no additional cost.
The new PC-based calling features were initially introduced to international users in December 2005, and will continue to be rolled out in additional localized versions. The enhanced Yahoo! Messenger with Voice features will also be introduced into Yahoo!'s co-branded Internet access services, including AT&T Yahoo! High Speed Internet, in the coming months.
The new PC-based voice calling capabilities join the suite of communications solutions in Yahoo! Messenger with Voice including text instant messaging (IM), PC-to-PC calling, e-mail, mobile text messaging, photo sharing and video. New enhancements to the service include: