The Deal-eo with Teleo

Robert Scoble called Teleo a "potential Skype killer". Stuart Henshall can be summarized as saying "no presence, no thanks".

It's a tough world, this middle ground between computers (presence, IM, click-to-call, user interface requirements) and phones ("just works" voice connectivity). But as you can see from just that last statement, the "features" are all on the side of computers. No one raves about placing a call or call forwarding.

But I still want Teleo. Or something like it. I want something built on standards (like SIP) rather than Skype's closed walls. Will and I had a long discussion about this: it comes down to I *know* that other systems interoperate with SIP today, whereas any future development around Skype, I have to wait for Skype to build or bless the usage of.

I want a number that I can point at other telephony devices. I'm held hostage by my Canadian cell phone provider because of the lack of LNP. I'll gladly pay Teleo $3 or $5 per month so that I can have a permanent number.

Except, of course, that that number is still tied to Teleo. I'm unlikely to get it back if they go out of business or I want to switch to another service.

I'd love to trial Teleo, but they currently require downloading and installing a Windows-only application.

I'm going to try my luck with SIPphone instead. It even has presence support through PhoneGaim, a multi-network IM client and sotfphone in one, although it's Linux and Windows only for now. My wish: that Adium manages to integrate SIP-based telephony.

And I still want to buy a number. Just like I can buy a domain. Who can a) sell me one and b) guarantee that I'll be able to switch it to different services?