Friday, February 24, 2006

Thunderbird as a deployment vehicle

One of the reasons for success of Skype is that they already had a deployment vehicle in the form of KaZaA file sharing network. I believe that for mass deployment of any P2P VoIP tool including open standard based P2P-SIP we need free software availability and a deployment vehicle.

Deployment vehicle is just a mechanism or tool that already exists and is widely used, e.g., tools for email, web, file sharing, or something more basic as Windows OS. For example, someone can add P2P-SIP support in popular email clients such as Microsoft Outlook Express or Mozilla Thunderbird. The latter is easier since it is open source.

Project description: the Thunderbird client can be extended to also serve as a (peer-to-peer) voice and IM client. IM buddies would appear in the Thunderbird address book, allowing to display buddies and their online status. IM transcripts might be saved and searched in the same way that messages are saved. This work can leverage a SIP project, http://www.croczilla.com/zap/, and might build on the Cockatoo project at http://cockatoo.mozdev.org.

One issue is that not many people use Thunderbird compared to Microsoft product (although I believe that will change in future). Alternatively, a web interface similar to Gmail and google-talk can be provided that can be easily accessed from any web browser. The challenge is to use P2P instead of central web server.

1 comment:

Julian said...

Skype didn't really piggy back on Kazaa except at a coding level. The coders had experience from Kazaa that was directly applicable.

However, your idea has merit. Look at the Chatzilla extension to Firefox for IRC. It's not hard to imagine an IM/Voice/Video extension for Firefox in a similar style. And using Google's LibJingle the heavy lifting may have already been done, meaning that the extension would be largely XUL code.