Up until not long ago, Skype was solely a downloadable VoIP client for a PC. Nothing more, nothing less. They even allowed third parties to tap in and add their own functionality to their Skype by using an SDK for developers. One thing, however, always remained closed – the communication protocol. While the rest of the world is using H.323, SIP and sometimes XMPP to do VoIP, Skype did… Skype. What does this mean? That Skype needed to conquer the world, alone.
And they have started doing just that.
Targeting mobile devices
Want Skype on a mobile device? No problem. Just use a third party client from companies such as Truphone or Fring that support Skype (and other VoIP providers) on mobile devices. They can be viewed as “parasite” applications that allow you to connect to your favorite network from whatever phone you are using.
Skype now has a beta version that runs over Windows Mobile, with recent rumors of an iPhone app of their own.
If Skype continues with this trend, they will be removing the need of the “parasites”, but will also place the burden of supporting a large number of operating systems, platforms and devices on themselves directly.
Targeting consumer electronics
The fact that Skype, as a protocol, is closed makes this harder on them as they now need to work with each and every vendor in order to support Skype. This becomes much harder when you take video into consideration, as it requires a lot more optimizations that are specific to the chip used.
Where is Skype headed?
Skype probably understood that in order to grow they need to be on every screen. This means on PCs, mobile phones and embedded consumer electronic devices. They seem to be working very hard these days targeting the other two markets, as they have the PC one covered.
They are going at it alone to conquer the world.
My 2 cents
With Google breathing down their necks, and SIP service providers gaining momentum, how likely is it for one company to conquer the world?
Especially one that plays a proprietary game….