Skype Drops Bombshell on GIPS?

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Skype Drops Bombshell on GIPS?

Skype's CEO announced a partnership with SPIRIT DSP, competitors to Global IP Sound (GIPS) to use Spirit DSP's TeamSpirit core voice technology. Skype is abandoning GIPS? Wow! Or is Skype simply going to support both voice engines, which seems unlikely, but possible.

I have a buttload of questions about this announcement. Did the GIPS contract simply expire and Skype decided not to renew? Was Spirit DSP's pricing better? Did Skype do internal testing and determine Spirit DSP had better sound quality, a smaller footprint, etc.? Inquring minds want to know, and I will be contacting Spirit DSP today to get the juicy details.

Update: 5/26/06
The news release I used for to base my ponderings stated, "Niklas Zennstrom announced in front of about 1000 VoIP industry players, analysts and press that Skype has established core voice technology partnership with SPIRIT DSP." The obvious implication to me meant there was a possibility that Skype was simply adding Spirit DSP to its software or that the potential "bombshell" was that they were replacing GIPS with Spirit DSP.

While my original post pondered what Niklas Zennstrom's comment meant and I promised to find out more information, my contact at Spirit DSP now won’t divulge any more information as to what this partnership with Skype was all about. They stated they are now under NDA with Skype.

I've also tried to reach Skype's media contacts but am still awaiting a reply. I then contacted Global IP Sound's CEO Gary Hermansen to find out their take on the Spirit DSP announcement and GIPS's current relationship with Skype. Gary stated, "Our contract, our relatiionship, our development activity, our ongoing relationship with Skype is totally unchanged."

So according to Gary, they are still under contract with Skype and nothing has changed. It still seems very odd to me that a softphone client would need two voice engines and have to pay two separate licensing fees. These two companies are competitors with very similar features. It is possible, and this is pure speculation on my part, that Skype did some internal tests and determined that GIPS is better at doing multi-point conferencing and that Spirit DSP is better at one-to-one calls or vice-versa. I have no idea which one performs better, so again, just a guess on my part on how/why Skype would need to support both voice engines. Thus, I still don't know exactly what the deal between Spirit DSP and Skype means, and so I won't be able to end the speculation just yet.

But as it stands now, Skype still supports GIPS, so any bombshell dropped was simply an unexploded ordinance / dud.

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