I was using skype quite often before and quite like it too. they've done a pretty amazing job. Yet, there was many little things I was not happy with and I keep this old habbit to try out what's available see If I could not find any better. The main reasons I wanted something else is because release for Windows, MacOSX and Linux are not in sync and features sets are so different, it's quickly becoming different software. While they first advertise their software to be using Qt and full cross plateform. I remember The KDE News Site advertising Skype as this freshly created startup that commercially use Qt and we were all so excited about getting a decent VoIP cross-plateform. The other reason is, I never got it to work under Linux. If you have a desktop, with one simple sound card and a stupid basic microphone plug onto it, it should work. but if you have a laptop, with some weird sound card, a USB mic, or worse a USB webcam with internal microphone. just forget about it. There is tons of hacks around the internet. but seriously. none works. and think about it, when you want to call your mother and you are paying for a software, hacking around is not really what you want to spend time on.
So times has changes now, and there is various alternative. Gizmo and WengoPhone to name the two most serious ones. Both free, opensource and available on all commun plateform. There is others choices under linux, but I would want to make them appear worth than they are so I'm just not gonna name them.
So, few months ago, I decided to give a serious try to WengoPhone and bought 10Euro worth of credit. cost me roughly 14.50$can. They had a god promotion such as If you were buying credits, you would not used them. That's it fee calls. Sounded weird, but I tried it. So it last about a month, I could call my family for free, seeing my credits jammed at 10.22Euro.
To that point, things were great. I was using my girlfriends windows computer and I could do my calls for free. I was also looking for a cheaper altertive over to skype and Wengo is definitely cheaper.
but then a few flaws started to appear. You contact list is local to your wengo install. so if you switch computer, user, or reinstall wengo, you'll loose your contact list. I learned quickly how to not use their contact list and just use my address book for the number I have not memorize. Something a user should never have to do. Also, if there is two user logon on your windows machine at the same time, only one instance of Wengo can run at the same time, the second one simply won't launch.
As wengo is a french company, and all calls are virtually routed from France, every occupied-messages, dialing-error-messages or any type of message you usually hear from your phone company is in French. bonus points for people who doesn't understand french.
but the windows client works, well, the old version. the latest beta crash on started up. I submitted a bug report more than a month ago and nothing has changed, so I have to use the version 0.99
At work, I am using Mac, the beta version of Mac works. well, I have to launch it 3 times as it crashes on startup as well. but after 3-5 crash it seems to figure out his way through and then I can makes calls. weird? funny? I don't know but it's certainny nor fun nor quick to use.
So today I went on their website again to see if they had release a new beta. unfortunately not, but what I noticed though is the fact they are stating their BETA for PPC is "For advanced users only" while the BETA for Intel isn't. Well, it could be true, but let me doubt here. the look of this strangly look like a copy paste of the Win32 version, which states the BETA is "For advanced users only" but the 0.99 version not. which makes sense. so they copy/pasted this block, replace the version for the proper Mac version, but forgot they were both beta and they did not duplicated the warning for advanced users. A minor error you will tell me. but I seen so many mistakes of that kind on their websites, thinking about the actual code of the application scares the hell out of me. Such People lacking attention to details such as this can only provide crashing applications.
I'm gonna slowly use my wengo credit and then might switch back to Skype. well, I'll see at that point. but changing evil for worse was not for all the best. except that I could try out this app. I guess its something more under my belt but how usefull is it?
ah,... those guys over at WengoPhone.
I should mention a bit about Gizmo Phone project. I have not seriously try it, just installed it and did couple of tests, but nothing serious. but they also have an interresting promotion. They allow free calls between gizmo users. Skype also advertise something like that but there is a big different. Of course, all software as such allow you to do audio conferencing over the internet. but What Gizmo allow is different. You can call your friends real phone number for free if your friend as an account on gizmo and he had this phone number to his user profile. I don't know how secure it is to put your phone number in there. but I would expect that only my trusted contacts can have access to this information. but the point is. you sign up, enter your phones into your profile, your friend does the same and when he is not online, you can call him for free using gizmo. They are sure losing money on this. but they wants users so. way to go.
maybe gizmo is next finally, I don't know.
I hoped you enjoyed readings and won't post your useless thoughts on the comment box below.