Windows Mobile Gets Tango, Skype Holds up the Wall

So much for making quick use of your $8.5 billion dollar investment Steve.

Today Tango, one of the fastest growing communication services ever, announced that its service will be the first mobile video calling service available for the upcoming Windows Phone update “Mango” beating out Microsoft’s own mobile video calling service Skype.

Not that this should come as a surprise. After all Microsoft has a track record of botching acquisition integrations and given that Tango is still a start-up, they’re afforded the benefit of not having to deal with Skype’s massive daily operations (nor the Microsoft bureaucracy).

But adding fuel, or at the very least press release fodder, to a fast growing competitor is never a good thing.

Given the rising interest in consumer and business video calling one has to wonder if Tango, who now has the platform trifecta of iPhone, Andriod and Windows Phone, won’t soon become the front runner in mobile video calling. With video quickly becoming as pervasive as voice it would be a mammoth position to be in.

Thanks to a few month head start on each platform, a laser focus and a boatload of cash, Microsoft’s Skype could have a very real competitor for the first time. The disruptor becomes the disrupted.

Sounds pretty familiar, huh Microsoft?

Niche applications driving video calling adoption

Propelled by the “seeing is believing” phenomena video phone calling is continuing to increase in popularity and usage.  It’s growing adoption, however, is not being driven by traditional consumer calling (as one would think), but by niche applications.

A perfect example is recent news that VoIP, Video and IP Surveillance equipment manufacturer Grandstream Networks has teamed with NextIX Systems and Abot Tanaw to provide millions of Overseas Filipino Workers free video phone calling to their family living in the Philippines.

They’re doing it by deploying hundreds of Grandstream GXV3000’s located at six different malls in Philippines and a video call center in Hong Kong (with plans already set for sites in Philippines). Not exactly what you’d call traditional consumer video calling.

But these day’s it’s niche applications like this that are sprouting up everywhere you look.

Of course perennial front runners Polycom and Cisco are both shaping and growing the overall market, but even their video conferencing solutions often used in niche applications. Especially in the health care sector.

However it’s innovative video phone calling players like Skype and ooVoo that seem to be doing the most to foster new and exciting ways to use video conference technology. Introducing the technology to millions of new faces, in thousands of different ways.

Traditional consumer video phone calling services are not going to die, but video calling over an IP network is a flexible, portable, customizable application. As more standardization and interop happens within the idustry, it’s inevitable that even more niche applications for video phone calling will arise.