VoxOx wants to be a voice for all

What if Digsby and Skype merged into one seemingly all-powerful VoIP and messaging communications tool is the question that VoxOx seeks to answer.

What if Digsby and Skype merged into one seemingly all-powerful VoIP and messaging communications tool is the question that VoxOx seeks to answer. VoxOx's many features have not yet been seen in one package, and version 2 of the program introduces even more features. Whether their execution suits your needs may be another matter.

VoxOx 2 offers all that came before, and more. It's got multi-protocol chat, social networking support, and Web mail integration. It also offers a telephony service that includes call encryption, mobile-to-mobile calls initiated by either SMS or via a Web site. New in this version are a free personal assistant for recording, forwarding, routing, and screening calls, inbound and outbound fax management, Facebook and MySpace IM support, a reworked contact manager that attempts to merge your contacts from their disparate sources, and stronger back-end support. Users have been promised that new servers can handle the workload asked of them.

You can share files up to 100MB via an internally-generated download link that can then be shared via e-mail or instant message. This is different from the direct support of most IM clients, but that file size bump is hard to ignore. There's mobile access, too, for those who use a mobile browser, iPhone, or WAP. The call quality on the Callback feature, where you initiate a long-distance or international phone call from your computer or SMS, was clear and crisp.

The Personal Assistant is the big new feature in this version, and for users who need to manage multiple phone numbers, it's a killer. You can redirect calls based on which number you want to be reached at first, and by who's calling you. You can record calls as they occur, or listen to messages as they're being recorded. You can also transfer a live call from a landline to a mobile number and not lose the call.

The interface has received an overhaul, and in general it's better. One drawback is that while many options are available from the Settings menu, not all of them are. Some you need to go to different parts of the program, such as altering IM fonts. Using VoxOx's phone features requires points, and users are given 120 points/minutes to get started. With an overwhelming feature set, VoxOx continues an uphill climb against better-known competitors or those who focus on a single feature, but it's hard to ignore the appeal of what's offered.

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