Gizmo5 (formerly The Gizmo Project) has been my preferred program for IM text chat and audio calls (including PSTN calls worldwide) for quite some time now. The chat interface is clean and easy to read, and it has an excellent history facility, so I can easily look back at something we were talking about several days or weeks ago. Gizmo has now made two additions which make it even better, one for business users and the other for social users.
The first is their new Gizmo5 Business account. This is a sort of an "umbrella" account, under which many individual Gizmo5 user accounts can be grouped. It is then possible to make a single payment for call-out credit to the business account, and distribute that credit to the employee accounts on an unlimited "as-needed" basis, or in limited amounts. In addition, call-in numbers can be purchased by the business account, and then freely assigned to any of the employee accounts. There is an administrative interface for the whole thing, of course, which provides information and controls for the employee accounts and the company account. Gizmo5 also interfaces with IP PBX software, such as Asterisk, Callweaver and the likes. All in all this should be very good news for businesses.
The second addition is integrating even more external IM networks to the Gizmo5 chat console. They were already the leader in this, and it just keeps getting better. As I have mentioned before, I already have my MSN and Yahoo accounts under Gizmo5, and its really nice to have only one program running instead of three. Their list of networks is now:
- MSN Live - AIM - Yahoo - MySpace - Jabber (includes Google Talk) - QQ - iChat - ICQ - Gadu Gadu
That's quite a list - the only thing of significance that is missing is Skype, and how I would love for them to be able to do that, so I could chat with the few remaining Skype contacts that I have without having to load the infernal Skype program.
There's another thing Gizmo has been working on, and improving, that I haven't mentioned for a while - off-line message delivery. If you try to send a text message to someone, and they are off-line (or even just "away"), if that person has a cell phone number and/or an email address registered with their account, you will be presented with a menu of options to deliver the message by SMS or email (as available), in addition to Gizmo just holding the message and delivering it by IM when it is possible. This is a nice touch, and makes for an easy way to try to contact someone quickly, even if they aren't currently active on Gizmo5. Of course, the cost of sending a message by SMS is charged to your Gizmo5 account balance; their SMS rates are very good.
On top of all this, Gizmo5 runs on an incredible array of platforms - Windows (2000, XP and Vista), MacOS, Linux, Nokia Tablets (N770, N800, N810), and a huge number of mobile phones - not just "smartphones" either, it runs just fine on my ordinary Nokia 6234!
The bottom line is, these guys are good - when it comes to IM text chat, audio calls and PSTN out/in calls, they are unbeatable. They put their heart and soul into this, and it shows. They work hard, and as a result Gizmo5 is continually improving. i like it, and I use it.