Are you tired of dealing with headsets for your Skype and Yahoo! Messenger calls? Or do you have a handset, but find it a pain to distinguish between that and your landline? If you find this to be a problem, you might be happy to hear that Linksys has decided to address it with new dual-technology cordless telephones
The Skype version of the handset (CT200) has been out for a (very) short while, but the Yahoo! Messenger version (CT310) is a new addition. Both allow you to display your current status (busy, away, etc), and the Yahoo version allows you to also view chat buddies that don't have voice capability. The Yahoo version of the phone also comes with a couple of other Yahoo services, including weather updates and local yellow pages.
For calls where you would prefer to use your regular landline service, you can press a button on the handset to switch on-the-fly. This allows consumers to choose between whether they really want the occasional issues of static or skipping that can happen over VoIP services when they are just calling down the street. The handsets have ranges of around 330m outdoors and 50m indoors, with about 10 hours of talk-time per battery cycle. The handsets retail for around $100 USD.
Overall, it seems that this could be a handy feature for people who live in a mixed household in particular. Some people do not trust using only VoIP, and would prefer to stick to their landlines. Others would rather not pay long-distance charges, instead enjoying the convenience of worldwide calling over the internet. Though it won't solve everyone's problems, it could certainly be a useful middle ground in quite a few households. And hey, Yahoo yellow pages right on your phone is just plain handy.
Would you use a product like this? Have you been unwilling to switch totally to VoIP, and so haven't spent on a handset for your Skype or Yahoo! Messenger habit yet? Tell us whether this would suit you in our forums