26/05/2011

Microsoft-Skype kills Skype for Asterisk

Many will know Asterisk the open source IP PBX (IP telephony system) that is commercially supported by Digium.

At Astricon in 2008 Digium announced a partnership with Skype that would allow an Asterisk system join the Skype network as a Skype client, though commercial (costing $66 per channel i.e. each concurrent call the Skype network requires a channel) many people used this to connect their internal VoIP systems to the outside world taking advantage of free Skype to Skype calls and cheap calls to the normal telephone networks using Skype-out.

Unfortunately the partnership is now dead as Skype (or now Microsoft Skype as Skype is to be known after their acquisition by the software giant) have decided to discontinue the licensing of Skype proprietary code that is included in the Skype for Asterisk product.

Customers can still purchase Skype for Asterisk until 26th July 2011 and Skype will continue to support the product until 2013 (and Skype "at their discretion" may continue support beyond that).

Though Skype for Asterisk only represents a small proportion of the Skype population, is this indicative of the way that Microsoft is taking the company as Asterisk and other open source solutions directly compete with some of Microsoft's offerings? If so it's a shame as it it's likely that only MS products will work with Skype and thus further locking customers into Microsoft's solutions.

Though to be fair, rumour has it that Skype was already looking at ways of ending the relationship with Digium.
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