Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 10th May 2011 08:19 UTC, submitted by porcel
Microsoft So, the biggest acquisition in Microsoft's history. The Wall Street Journal reports - and it has been confirmed - that Microsoft and Skype will announce today that Redmond will buy Skype for $8.5 billion. That's a lot of money for a company that hasn't ever actually made any profits. Update: and it's official: yay on Skype on the Xbox360 and Windows Phone, and this: "Microsoft will continue to invest in and support Skype clients on non-Microsoft platforms." Let's hope this includes Linux.
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RE: Doh! ...
by vodoomoth on Tue 10th May 2011 08:35 UTC in reply to "Doh! ..."
vodoomoth
Member since:
2010-03-30

I would say it's high time an OSS alternative to Skype appeared.

Reply Parent Score: 16

RE[2]: Doh! ...
by majorhabib on Tue 10th May 2011 08:42 in reply to "RE: Doh! ..."
majorhabib Member since:
2009-08-26

Microsoft will definitely start its Skype Linux-killing campaign very soon.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Doh! ...
by crhylove on Tue 10th May 2011 09:38 in reply to "RE: Doh! ..."
crhylove Member since:
2010-04-10

Yeah, it's not like .ogg isn't great for audio already. Let's get a pidgin plugin already!

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Doh! ...
by vodoomoth on Tue 10th May 2011 10:46 in reply to "RE[2]: Doh! ..."
vodoomoth Member since:
2010-03-30

Not sure I understand your comment. But ogg, despite how good it is, is not an "alternative" to Skype. It's just a format, not a full-fledged voip program.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Doh! ...
by MissTJones on Tue 10th May 2011 10:53 in reply to "RE[2]: Doh! ..."
MissTJones Member since:
2010-03-25

Ogg (Vorbis) isn't really intended for live chat, but Xiph's CELT codec is and just recently Skype donated their Silk voice codec to be combined with it to create the IETF Opus codec under royalty free terms. Hopefully that's too far along for Microsoft to kill.

Skype are also the biggest user of VP7 and have recently been championing VP8 as the future, again hopefully Microsoft won't be allowed to alter that.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Doh! ... - the trick
by jabbotts on Tue 10th May 2011 11:59 in reply to "RE: Doh! ..."
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

A truly OSS skype alternative would indeed be welcome. What are the chances it would retain the POTS bridges though? I frequently use Skype to call long distance to land line numbers. I could actually reverse that and have a land line number that forwards to my local Skype if I wanted.

I do see an OSS version being able to match or improve on Skype to Skype functions. Here's hoping that OSS project can also manage to make a business of it and provide access to POTS lines. I'd be happy to give them my $2.95 a month instead of Microsoft.

Given Hackerspaces and community projects that have managed to setup and provide local ISP services, it's possible. Come on all you Hackerspaces out there; get coding some voip and see if you can make it happen.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Doh! ...
by dragos.pop on Tue 10th May 2011 14:53 in reply to "RE: Doh! ..."
dragos.pop Member since:
2010-01-08

I'm sure there are a lot of OSS alternatives to skype. The problems with these alternatives are:
1) Quality - sound and video quality over slow connections made skype so loved. I'm sure though that there are products that offer good quality.

2) Market - Skype is not standard in any way but it is the de facto standard.
The problem with chat and VoIP is that you need a program that is compatible with what your friends are using. And since your friends have other friends and so on, you need to convince a hole market to adopt a new program.
Or at least to convince enough people to try a new chat(VoIP) and have to programs with the same functionality running at the same time.

Edited 2011-05-10 14:54 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Doh! ...
by phoenix on Tue 10th May 2011 17:53 in reply to "RE[2]: Doh! ..."
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

You don't need to all use the same program. But you do all have to use the same protocols. And you all have to agree on a "central connection point" to find each other. That's where most OSS VoIP/chat systems fall down. And where most user's comprehension falls down ("Do you Skype?" "No, I use Ekiga." "Oh, so I can't talk to you.")

There are lots of OSS VoIP solutions out there. But getting any three of them to talk to each other is the hard part. Especially when you add in "clueless" users.

That's what Skype got right: make it brain-dead (relatively) simple to get an account, install the software, and start chatting with people.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Doh! ...
by Neolander on Tue 10th May 2011 17:32 in reply to "RE: Doh! ..."
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

I would say it's high time an OSS alternative to Skype appeared.

Ekiga ? Google Talk ?

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Doh! ...
by Liquidator on Tue 10th May 2011 20:54 in reply to "RE[2]: Doh! ..."
Liquidator Member since:
2007-03-04

Ekiga, yes. Google Talk isn't opensource, and isn't available for Linux either...

Reply Parent Score: 2