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12/15/2008
05:55 PM
Irwin Lazar
Irwin Lazar
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Free UC??

That's the pitch that startup Unison Technologies is making with it's new free UC client integrating voice, instant messaging, calendaring, and LDAP directory into a single application. The client forces you to view ads, but the company is betting that customers will accept ad-supported software in exchange for not having to shell out tens of thousands of dollars for similar features from Microsoft or other. But it doesn't look like this is going to fly.....

I went to their web site to check out the offer, and got the following:

Thank you for your interest in Unison. However, we have detected that you are located in Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin. The use or sale of Unison is prohibited in these jurisdictions, due to the litigation climate. Because Unison is a young, highly-innovative company and its free, sponsor-supported distribution model is an industry-changing concept, the company has taken this step in order to protect itself. However, we hope to offer the software in these states at a future date.

That doesn't bode well. If I'm an IT manager considering Unison, do I want to take the chance that litigation shuts them down? And do I really want to take the chance on an ad-supported revenue model in a down economy? Probably not.

Still, Unison's for-sale offering is competitively priced, and it's worth looking at for those with a high tolerance for risk coupled with a low budget for UC.

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