There has been quite a bit of press around the new Yahoo! IM with VoIP, or not VoIP depending on which review you read. Some of the reporters are scorning Yahoo! for not delivering a better PSTN offering as part of this new IM beta. I think we need to step back for a second and take a peak under the hood in order to add perspective here.
What most reporters do not understand is that this new beta is using SIP a proposed standard from the IETF. It is easy to confirm this by using a free packet analyzer called ethereal. By running ethereal while trying to call another Yahoo! user we can see that SIP is used to provide the signaling for call setup etc.
The fact that Yahoo! is now using SIP is a BIG DEAL! Open standards are the key to ubiquitous IP communications. If we can all use the same protocols when building applications and network infrastructure components we can easily connect all of these pieces together to create one big network. It has to be this way if we are to actually communicate with each other. Proprietary offerings are on their way out and Yahoo! is the first big player to make the move. I hope to see them using SIMPLE next for their IM protocol, maybe we’ll see that in version 8 🙂