Skype Video Phone Coming Soon
SkypePhone via 3 Gets Even Better

For The Record-Gizmo Vs. Skype

For the record, when Michael Robertson came to me with his views about Skype I suggested he post a guest editorial. He went one step further and wrote a full letter to Skype and sent me a copy with permission to post here on VoIPwatch. He's not a client of my agency, nor are he and I even talking about that.

I have since asked Skype for a reply, as this matter of openness is one that I feel should be out in the open.

Skype's representatives have advised me that Skype is considering a response, which I will post here as well.

As this is an election year, the purpose here is to foster open and civil discourse. Forget the fact that Robertson and I have been friends for almost ten years. I'm not taking a side here, instead by providing a neutral home the debate can reside somewhere that is perceptually neutral.

One other point. Since I don't sell ads, or run ads, unlike the commercial blogs, or any of the blogs that accept and run advertising, this can't be viewed as simply a stunt to drive page views.

Since starting VoIPWatch I have always tried to bring the stories that are relevant to the forefront, and stay out of the hype cycle. This is not about hype. This is about the concept of Openness, one that both Gizmo Project/SipPhone and Skype feel strongly about.

With the FCC now putting caveats into the spectrum auctions about openness as one of the panelists at Mobilize stated yesterday, the whole matter becomes of greater importance.

My take is there is a lot more going on at Skype under the new leadership. While unlike some bloggers including pals Jim Courtney, Phil Wolff and Om Malik who were briefed by Josh Silverman, I was not, but I did listen to my previously suggested CTO candidate Jonathan Christensen at the recent IT Expo. I heard his speech, and after getting around the message point rhetoric, heard a lot of things that lead me to believe that both Skype and Gizmo are actually working in the same directions. That direction is a leveling of the playing field vs. the incumbents while maintaining a desire to work with them. Skype is in the middle of a global reorganization. New people are on the way in, others have already been let go. More are likely on thin ice as reorg doesn't exactly happen overnight. Fixing problems, shoring up deficiencies and making things better have to be high on the list of the current CEO. Openness may not be as high up there, but I suspect it's there somewhere. All Robertson is doing is lighting a fuse to bring it along sooner. Those are predictions.

It is also my prediction that a major mobile operator will work with either Skype or Gizmo (and possibly both) to enable Mobile VoIP in a bigger way than we see today. The operator, likely one with a multi-country operating footprint somewhere in the world, will brake ranks and begin to embrace VoIP the way T-Mobile has in the USA and elsewhere with UMA, leading to the first big Fixed Mobile Convergence play in the world, though initially we won't have full GSM to Wi-Fi handover.


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