Skype ruffled some feathers in the internet telephony world earlier this year when they announced they'd be offering free SkypeOut calls to the US and Canada for the rest of 2006. We weren't too interested since it came off as little more than a promotion, and we typically skip over promos (for obvious reason). But we're kind of left wondering how Skype
-- deep eBay pockets
and all -- intends to compete with archrival Gizmo Project
's latest tactic: free Gizmo-to-landline calls anywhere, anytime, any amount, forever. We'll probably be spending a while trying to make heads from tails of their business plan which pretty much totally gives away the shop, but who's really going to be reeling here is the rest
of the VoIP telephony industry that's currently clawing desperately to monetize on landline phone replacements. Not everything's free with Gizmo Project, however; even though you can all over Europe, Asia, and the Americas (to 60 countries and counting), if you want your pals to call you on Gizmo from their
landlines, you're going to have to buy a Call In number. (Fret not though, since those cost as little as $3 a month.) Also, in order to call them up they need to have a number registered to an active Gizmo account, which increases the barrier to entry by a bit. But what started with Captain Crunch's 2600Hz whistle may now end with Gizmo Project's capture of the biggest voice trunk of all time; if this is any sign of things to come, we'd say the free voice revolution may finally have a proper flagbearer. So let the free phone wars begin.