With the holiday weekend some things fell through the cracks. One was the 9th birthday of Skype. To help depict their story Skype has released an infographic that highlights their various milestones throughout the years.
Skype may have been the single most disruptive service ever to hit the telecommunications world. For starters Skype really defined the idea of "free" calling. Up until its arrival, making free calls was largely geared around h.323 and a fledgling protocol called SIP (session initiation protocol) that was developed by the IETF and now Skype's Chief Technology Strategist, Jonathan Rosenberg.
Skype success was in it's simplicity. Username and password are all that's needed. Skype had the benefit of it's own audio codec, compression and incryption, plus a swarming technology that found open ports and to get around firewalls. It leveraged a peer to peer (P2P) technology that is named JOLTID and was the subject of a legal fight between Skype's original founders and eBay that eventually paved the way for a sale to Microsoft via Silver Lake.
Skype's only real threat was Gizmo Project started by Michael Robertson of MP3.com fame as an offshoot of his SIPphone service. Gizmo was eventually acquired by Google for $30 million dollars. (Robertson is about to launch UberTalk-an easy way to tune into talk radio that will work in conjunction with DAR.fm.)