Google Talk supports SIP, what does Skype do now?

Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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Google Talk supports SIP, what does Skype do now?

Now that Google has announced plans to support SIP in Google Talk and plans to "federate" with third-party providers including Sipphone's Gizmo Project and Earthlink's Vling, where does this leave Skype? Skype up to now has been able to deflect criticisms for using a proprietary protocol and not supporting SIP. Part of their "excuse" for using a proprietary protocol was that it was needed in order for NAT traversal of firewalls.

But how long can Skype use this "excuse" now that Google plans to adopt the SIP protocol, an industry standard and currently Google Talk also can do NAT traversal? I should point out that currently Google Talk's VoIP feature doesn't use SIP but instead uses a custom XMPP-based signaling protocol for its peer-to-peer communication mechanism. But no doubt Google will figure out how to use SIP and perform NAT traversal.

It is also worth mentioning that Google's embracing of the SIP protocol will put pressure on Skype to support SIP and this may have to change the business model of Skype. For example, there was talk of Skype charging a licensing fee per device fee to add Skype proprietary functionality to a cell phone for example. This completely goes away with SIP. You just gotta love standards!

Sorry Skype, I do love ya, and will continue to use ya, but the computing world and now the telecom world have become about open standards. Just look at Asterisk's success, an open-source IP-PBX, if you need further proof.

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