A few weeks after Yahoo! acquired DialPad, Google launched Google Talk and Skype followed immediately by opening up its API. Microsoft is not playing possum either.
With a large desktop install base of interoperable clients using open protocols, VoIP is explosively becoming as pervasive as the Web.
It doesn't take a genius to figure that what follows is a mushroom effect of VoIP service providers. The first big wave is coming from pure play providers like Vonage, traditional ISPs (EarthLink), incumbent telcos (SBC, AT&T) and mobile carriers (Verizon, Vodafone).
Household names like Amazon and eBay will follow next and pave the road to thousands of other web sites. After all it is more natural to ask "can I see the latest MP3 players?" than it is to write it down.
An important question is - what platform will be used to build all these new services on? There are several proprietary ones available on the market, which will flourish in the short term because of the huge demand. As history shows though, before long, Open Standards, Open Source platforms will mature and will take over the lion share. Keep an eye on the Mobicents project as it continues to grow at an accelerated rate community of industry contributors, academia and freelancers.