Aug 27, 2007

Time to Boycott Yahoo! Messenger India?

Funny that I noticed it, but Yahoo! seem to have got rid of the voice-chat feature in the Indian version of their Instant Messenger program. Here's the features list of the Yahoo! Messenger (U.S. version):

(Click on the image to enlarge)

Notice how the PC-to-PC voice-call feature is prominently mentioned. Now look at a similar screen-shot of the features list of the Yahoo! Messenger (India version):

(Click on the image to enlarge)

Viola! The PC-to-PC voice-call feature is simply missing here. Nice piece of magic there, Yahoo!

Can someone from Yahoo! India please explain why this feature does not exist in the Indian version of their IM? Since PC-to-PC voice calls do not fall under the category of VoIP, I am sure no legal issues are causing this discrimination. Both Google Talk as well as Skype seem to offer this feature regardless of the country of origin of the user.

So Yahoo! Messenger (India) users, isn't this enough to give a boot to Yahoo! Messenger and switch to Google Talk / Skype?

1 comment:

Jaxx said...

Free PC-to-PC calling offered by software like Windows Live Messenger has catched the attention of the Indian taxman. Already in May the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India recommended to the Department of Telecommunications that international companies offering telephony services in India through their messenger products should be registered in India and subsequently pay service taxes.

"We have been urging the government to ban them from providing the service illegally. Now they will at least pay the service tax and 6 per cent of annual gross revenue," Rajesh Chharia, President of the Internet Service Providers Association of India (ISPAI), told Hindustan Times. "Without lawful interception and call detail records (of non-Indian Internet firms), we will not be able to control the threat to national security," said Charria.

These startling and quite scary statements imply that if IM software does land in the service tax net, companies like Microsoft may not be able to offer PC-to-PC calling for free anymore in India.

n a reaction to news about India imposing a tax on PC-to-PC and PC-to-Phone communication through IM software, Yahoo! seems to have already ditched all voice conversation features from its Yahoo! Messenger client in India.