Net Talk Debuts Voice Chat Software

Net Talk Inc. earlier this week released a light version of its forthcoming Internet voice chat software, and the company's top executive hopes that users are ready to move on from text-based chat services.

On Monday, the company made its Net Talk Lite available for free from its Web site. Net Talk Lite allows between two and four users with Microsoft Corp.'s NetMeeting 2.1 to communicate with each other by voice over the Internet. The software features a graphical interface with avatars -- graphical representations of users.

"Take ICQ, add to that voice, add to that groups, add to that visual experience," and you have the Net Talk model, said Steven Tover, the company's president and chief executive officer, referring to the popular text-based chat and messaging software owned by America Online Inc. (AOL).

The company's main products will be the Net Talk Enterprise and Net Talk Communities packages, which extend the basic functions of Net Talk Lite to a full business-to-business model, taking full advantage of the low-priced communications costs offered by the Internet, according to Tover. The full-blown versions of Net Talk offer functions not offered on the free Lite version, including application sharing and "white-boarding" possibilities, he added.

Net Talk Lite for NetMeeting is available for free now from the company's Web site. A cross-platform Java version will be available next month, according to Tover.

Net Talk Communities and Net Talk Enterprise will be available in November, Tover said.

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