04/11/2009

Skype re-engineering the world

Please note this is completely based on my own thoughts and I have not liaised with anybody else on the content.

Skype is currently having a few legal issues with JoltID who own the P2P technology (known as Global Index) that Skype runs on. Oddly when Ebay purchased Skype from JoltID for $4.1bn they only licensed the P2P technology. Now that Ebay has sold off 65% of Skype to a private investment company, JoltID have said that their licensing has been infringed and there's a UK court case planned for June 2010.

Ebay must be slightly worried (well Skype now) as if the court case is successful Skype may not be allowed to continue to use the underlying P2P technology, which means no more Skype, or at least no more functioning Skype network.

Skype must be doing something about this? Maybe they are as they've taken on-board Theo Zourzouvillys who's job description seems to be "Internet Hippy at Skype Labs". Theo is one of the most knowledgeable people in the world when it comes to VoIP, especially SIP and he has written many SIP stacks and built hugely scalable SIP networks and is the author of many an IETF drafts on said protocols.

Though Skype are making huge efforts in supporting SIP for business users (they already utilise SIP for connectivity to telcos for interconnect i.e. for Skype In and Skype Out), could Skype be re-engineering their network from the ground up, utilising non proprietary protocols? If that was the case and the underlying technology changed significantly from the Global Index P2P system, then the JoltID problem goes away.

In this case only time will tell.
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