The Un-Skype

Mac users are like cats – famously contrarian about following the herd. And with the herds rushing to Skype, your typical Mac user will start heading off into some other direction.

London-based Woize (pronounced woy-zee) is targeting this herd of cats with its SIP-based, peer-to-peer VoIP client for Mac OSX, announced yesterday. The company says that the beta version of the software will be released sometime before the end of the year.

The features are pretty comparable to Skype. Calls between Woize users are free, with charges for calls to landline and mobile phones. The company already offers VoIP clients for Windows – including Windows Mobile – and an ATA that lets you use your telephone to make Woize calls.

The main advantage of Woize’s approach is, because it’s SIP-based, Woize users can connect with other SIP users.

“SIP is the not only the future of communications. it is quickly becoming the cornerstone of IP communications as we know it today,” says Erik Lagerway, author of the SIP That and CTO of Shift Networks. “Proprietary solutions are not a viable long term solution and will not impact the future of SIP.”

But Woize is hardly the first one out of the box with a solution to compete with Skype. TelTel of Santa Clara, CA has been offering its SIP-based softphone for over a year now. TelTel claims about two million registered users and is adding about 100,000 users a month, according to CEO Jack Chang.