One of the more exciting announcements in the open communications space was when Digium inked a deal with Skype to allow the most popular open source communications server to work natively with the most popular Internet telephony software.
But yesterday Digium put out a note telling users that Skype for Asterisk will no longer be available after July 26th, 2011. Current users should be able to use it for a period of two years after that date.
The question worth asking is whether this announcement marks the end of Skype support for non-Microsoft platforms. As Erik Lagerway asks – will Skype Connect for various PBX vendors be next?
In the past I’ve have heard there were scaling issues with Skype for Asterisk so this move could be a result pruning products which didn’t meet certain standards or requirements.
Obviously we will know more as time goes on but this move likely won’t be welcomed by the legions of open-source fanboys out there. And Microsoft needs to be careful to not alienate the influencers in the market if it doesn’t want to intentionally reduce the value of an acquisition which many say cost too much.
Update May 26, 2011
Skype sent me their official comment regarding Skype for Asterisk from Jennifer Caukin, spokeswoman for Skype.
Skype made the decision to retire Skype for Asterisk several months ago, as we have prioritized our focus around implementing the IETF SIP standard in our Skype Connect solution. SIP enjoys the broadest support of any of the available signaling alternatives by business communications equipment vendors, including Digium. By supporting SIP in favor of alternatives, we maximize our resources and continue to reinforce our commitment to delivering Skype on key platforms where we can meet the broadest customer demand.
This does make sense – with all the things that need to take place with a merger of this size, probably Digium was not at the top of the list of things to deal with. Going forward there is still the potential for conflict between Apple with Facetime and other challenges with enterprise PBX vendors now that Microsoft is Skype’s new parent company.