New SIP-based VOIP calling service Flashphone from Russian company “Innovation Systems of Communication” offers browser based free calling.
Flashphone is currently in beta and has some limitations (3 calls up to 3 minutes each per day), but upon launch is promising unlimited free calls to a range of countries and services. Where Flashphone is interesting is in its interface; the service is Flash based and operated exclusively from the browser, with the (obvious) only need being that the user has Flash drivers installed. The flash based phone GUI can also be embedded on other sites.
I tested the service and it does work. Call quality wasn’t brilliant but was usable on a call from Australia via Russia and back again, and really no different to some of the Skype out calls I’ve tried making from home as well (Skype works better for call-out when you’re in the US when making the call).
The service has its limitations, for example you can’t pay to call services that aren’t on the free list, and the general layout of the service isn’t inspiring (see shot below). Having said that free is one of those magic words that helps build a willing user base. Worth a look if you want to make a free call.