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September 11, 2009

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twitter.com/AndrewHansen

Andy, you are bang on with your analysis.. I posted this comment on Om's blog minutes ago:

The problem with the “Extra’s” has never been lack of interest or lack of developers, but simply the lack of a real API. The client messaging API that Skype has had (and will continue to support) has very few actual uses outside of hardware and client software mashups. A few great apps., (like Skylook) filled a space where the Skype client itself was lacking – but that is hardly the basis for a robust ecosystem. They have had a history of eating their own children, as the current API really didn’t give developers any security that their app. wouldn’t just be included in the next release of Skype.

The real opportunity lies in some of the new things that are being developed using new API’s that are being tested now, if you Google around the Skype for Asterisk channel driver you can find mentions of Mark Spencer talking about ‘Skyhost’ – and how they built the S4A channel driver using this.

Skype is not slapping developers down, they are merely redirecting resources to where they should have gone years ago – the request for a real API isn't new information to them, but they seem to be able to actually make decisions now without interference from clueless brass of their former owners.

Having said that they deserve the criticism with all barrels for releasing a rather ambiguous statement, about the future of the developer ecosystem.

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