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SIPphone: Gizmo plug-in a faster route to VoIP

Flash plug-in lets users make Internet phone calls through a browser without a software download or account setup.

SIPphone is launching a service called Gizmo that allows people to make Internet phone calls without having to use a traditional software client.

Using a downloadable flash plug-in, SIPphone's Gizmo Project lets consumers simply type a number into a special field and click a call button to connect. The plug-in lets people call most landline or mobile phones from anywhere in the world using any Internet browser.

Gizmo is different from Internet-calling applications such as Skype in that its basic service doesn't require a traditional software download or account registration. It is a potentially great VoIP solution for travelers making calls from Internet cafes and kiosks.

Users get 5 minutes of calling per day for free. If they register, they can get 10 minutes per day for free, the company said. To make more calls, users can purchase Gizmo Call Out minutes in $10 increments.

Gizmo is available for Windows and Macintosh operating systems, with Linux operating-system support expected within a month. Gizmo works with Internet Explorer, Opera, Firefox and Safari browsers, and it requires Adobe Systems' Flash 9 to be installed on the computer.