Om Malik was kind enough to point me to a post he made today on the release of Gizmo 3.0. For those of you not familiar with Gizmo, it's basically a SIP-based answer to Skype. Being SIP-based, it supports multiple SIP clients (including its own), as well as interconnection to a number of other SIP-based networks. Calls between Gizmo users (or anyone on a peered SIP network are free, and like Skype, Gizmo makes it money on calling to and from the PSTN. Unlike Skype, they also have a mobile client (currently only Nokia 800, 770, and N80 is supported).
Om notes that with version 3.0, Gizmo supports VOIP calling to a number of other IM services such as Yahoo, Gtalk, and MSN (no AIM support just yet).
I tried Gizmo over a year ago but quickly stopped using it since nobody I really knew was on it. These kinds of services are funny in that way, no matter how great the features are, if you can't talk to anyone it is kind of pointless. I primarily use AIM today since that's what almost everyone I know is using. IMHO AIM has become the defacto "standard", especially in the business world. To me, an AIM account is as important as my phone number, and I do as much business via AIM as I do via the telephone. I also rely on Skype a lot, mostly for IM, but also for voice when traveling and often as a substitute for my Verizon Voicewing VOIP phone just because I like the plug in that lets you click on phone numbers in web pages and e-mail to make calls. So while it's nice that Gizmo is adding these features, I wonder if anyone will use them.
That brings me to Sightspeed, PhoneBoy notes that Sightspeed is getting ready to launch version 6.0 tomorrow. I've used Sightspeed a couple of times, mostly to talk to their CEO Peter Csathy. The quality is very good and I've been pleased with its simplicity. That being said, I still prefer to use a phone, though I know in my heart that calls are far better with video since both parties are forced to pay attention to one another rather than drift off into distraction-land. I do think the desktop video market will finally take off when someone figures out how to create a usable multi-party service that supports groups of up to 15 people. There's a lot to be said for using video in group environments, but as an alternative to a one-on-one phone call I can see the case for the traveling business person wanting to say hi to their kids, but not for routine day-to-day one-to-one calls.