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[2]: Doh! ...
by dragos.pop on Tue 10th May 2011 14:53 UTC 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