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Posts from July 2014

Are Skype's Days Numbered?

Every day I see Yet Another WebRTC based service come to life. Today its "ROOM" which has a very simple beta list signup going on where if you tweet their existence you get immediate access to the beta. Services like SlackHallHipChatVobi and many others are offering what I'm calling Skype Takeaway Service (STS) often for free, often even richer in experience and more modern for the times.

Skype has in my view become the AOL AIM (AOL's Instant Messenger) of this decade.

An awesome service that stalled in development because of the so-called bigger picture of where Microsoft is heading. Let's face it, you can't be using the mobile operators as distribution partners, buying a handset manufacturer (Nokia) and trying to reconfigure legacy ideas like Exchange and their own Messenger service to the cloud and not realize that Skype's technology in the middle led to all of that being disrupted. At the same time redesigning the whole Skype technology, to basically make it a SIP like clone vs. the Peer 2 Peer approach it had also didn't just happen overnight.

Those factors and declining call quality, an almost step child like integration approach with other services, the killing off of the Skype hardware API, less and less developer relations activity, the expansion and deeper integration by Google surrounding Hangouts, Google Voice and of course WebRTC all are signs that Skype's days are numbered.


France: More Reasons for Uber and SnapCar

There's another reason for Uber in France and the French government needs to pay attention. It's customer service with taxi drivers. Just like in San Francisco where Uber was born there's a pattern of behavior that exists with taxi drivers that causes great frustration with the regular traveler. It's called being declined a ride because your destination isn't far.

Today, after dropping off my rental car at the Montpellier train station I did what I have done for years, walked to the taxi rank, hailed a cab and asked to be taken to the same hotel as in the past. This time the driver said "you can walk, it's only ten minutes." While that may be true the option to walk or not should be mine, not the driver's and his outright refusal to take the fare never would happen in London. This type of behavior is not far different from the SF taxi drivers who chose to pass hotels for pickups because the hotels have house cars or favorite car services they use for their guests' airport runs.

Uber, France's SNAPCAR and the UK's Hailo solve these issues. First the drivers are eager for the business and second, there's no worry about who they are picking up as they already know. Lastly though is the safe and secure feeling I get when I take Uber or one of the other services. I know I have recourse vs. trying to deal with a taxi commission which works solely in its own selfish interest.

Uber On..

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad