Peace on earth and IM goodwill
Blessed be the third party interoperability geeks. A mega-uber value reader pointed me towards this big announcement yesterday, and I was just starting to post on it when I realized that Thomas has already done a great job with it. I would only add that Google has the GAIM-master on board, so clearly the company itself will undoubtedly also have something exciting in the works beyond the AIM deal. It's also nice to see Skype dragged (undoubtedly kicking and screaming) into this process without the need for the usual niceties. Meanwhile, in Mac-land, Om and Andy have both written on developments around Gizmo (for what it's worth I am seeing a lot of VoIP geeks who have always refused to use Skype turning up on Gizmo).
In all the years that I have been pestering clients about VoIP/IM, I have never once said that the PSTN would be killed outright as a result. Rather, I have argued that if VoIP/IM communities got big enough and interconnected their various closed platforms, the PSTN would be progressively less relevant. It will be a death of 453 million cuts, and in 2006 it will move into higher gear.