Start-up aims to challenge Microsoft, Skype, Google

Perzonae will charge US$40 per year for its unified communications service when it emerges from a beta test

Dutch start-up Perzonae Unified Communications is working on a service that will combine e-mail, instant messaging and, later, calls and teleconferencing on PCs and mobile phones. The first public beta is now available, it announced on Wednesday.

By combining all these methods of communicating, users will eventually no longer need existing tools and software such as Outlook, Thunderbird, MSN, Hotmail, Skype or Gmail, according to Chris Troost, marketing manager at Perzonae.

At the same the company is very much aware of the fact that it's just a small network, so it is looking to integrate with all the major networks for e-mail and instant messaging, according to Troost. Universal chat client Pidgin has been a big inspiration, he said.

What Perzonae hopes will set it apart from the competition is the ability to communicate more efficiently using a concept it calls zones.

Users can, for example, create different zones for business or private communications. If users don't want to be disturbed by private messages or calls during work, they can shut off that zone and view the messages later on, according to Troost.

The public beta, version 0.6, will at first support just e-mail. Support for instant messaging will be added in about two weeks, Troost said.

Perzonae will also support geolocation, so that contacts, with the user's permission, will be able to see where they are.

The company is planning to put out the first stable release, version 1.0, in approximately six months.

It will include IP telephony, video and audio conferencing as well as desktop sharing, according to Perzonae's roll-out plan.

Support for unified communication integrating all three main means of communication, telephony, e-mail and instant messaging, is still uncommon in Internet based services, which leaves an opening for Perzonae if it can get there first.

The enterprise space, on the other hand, is a virtual hornets nest with companies like Microsoft, Cisco Systems and Alcatel-Lucent competing for corporate dollars.

Currently, the Perzonae client runs on Windows XP. Soon there will be a version for Mac OS X, and there are also plans for Linux and Windows Vista clients.

By the time the first stable release comes to market, Perzonae also hopes to have a client ready for phones running Windows Mobile.

It is also looking into support for other mobile platforms, including the iPhone, Symbian and Android.

With the arrival of the first stable release, Perzonae plans to start charging for its service. A basic subscription will cost about US$40 per year, and include e-mail and instant messaging.

A professional subscription will cost from US$40, and then users will have to pay more as they add, for example, telephony, according to Troost.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags unified communicationsstartupsPerzonae

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?