A Dutch startup called Perzonae Unified Communications entered the battle for unified communications market share with the release this week of the public beta version of their service.
The service combines email and instant messaging and Perzonae has plans to incorporate voice capabilities when the official release is made available. According to the article Perzonae feels their product can replace Outlook, Thunderbird, MSN / Live email, Hotmail, Skype, and GMail among others. Seems like a pretty tall order for a startup to take on Microsoft, Mozilla, and Google all before their product is even officially released.
The official release is not expected for another 6 months or so and the beta only runs on Windows XP- so they have some work to do. I don’t think that a company or product like this provides any serious concern to Microsoft or other enterprise-class unified communications providers. It remains to be seen what Perzonae will bring to the table and whether consumers or smaller businesses might be willing to pay Perzonae for services they can currently get for free using Windows Live Messenger or Google’s services such as GMail or Google Talk.