URL = http://ekiga.net/
"Ekiga is a VoIP application, which means “Voice over IP”, also known as “an internet phone”, but:
- in fact, Ekiga can handle video too
- in fact, using a bridge you can ring out to conventional telephones too, which is cheaper as well as convenient if the person you want to call is not on the internet. This is great for long distance calls as they are treated as local calls. It is internet all the way to the local exchange!
Damien Sandras: Ekiga is mainly an IP Telephony softphone, ie a software replacement for a hardware phone. This means that you can use Ekiga as a replacement for any hardware IP Phone supporting an open protocol. You can thus connect Ekiga with an IP PBX and use it as your phone. You can transfer calls, put the call on hold, forward the call and use such advanced telephony features. Imagine the ease of use of a software phone, imagine receiving your daily company calls using it. We are using Ekiga daily with our Asterisk-based IPBX. We aim to go further than simple VoIP or ITSP usage.
Yannick Defais: Ekiga is an Internet phone, as pointed out by Damien and Julien. It is also a public phone book. This service gives free SIP addresses, which are similar to e-mail addresses, but for internet telephony. For example: sip:[email protected]. SIP is one of the technology names powering our internet phone. As it is publicly defined, it is a globally accepted industry standard. You can use a lot of other Internet phones (both hardware and software) with our public phone book. We maintain a list of software you can use with Ekiga on GNU/Linux, Mac OS and Windows
Matthias Schneider: Actually, Ekiga is not only Voice over IP software, it is also Video over IP software and the beautiful thing is that this additional capability is transparent to the user. When making a call, no thought needs to be given on how you want to communicate with your peers. You only need to dial a phone number or enter a sip address, Ekiga then takes care of negotiating capabilities at the other end. That means when calling a normal phone line it will be a a voice-only call, but if calling another softphone or even a hardphone that has video capabilities, video will be activated automatically (if the user has enabled this function)." (http://www.freesoftwaremagazine.com/columns/interview_with_ekiga_developers)