Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

EBay Mulling Skype Sale

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the do-you-hear-that-flushing-sound dept.

Businesses 82

MaineCoasts writes "The Financial Times reports that eBay's new CEO is evaluating a sale of Skype if new ways cannot be found for the fast-growing service to support its core e-commerce business. EBay reported earlier this week that Skype had a 61 percent increase in first-quarter revenue over the same quarter last year and now has 309 million users worldwide."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Who gives a shit? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23123312)

What shocking news!

Re:Who gives a shit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23123648)

Indeed. eBay had been a teetotalling organization before buying this Skype wine.
Now they are heating, spicing, and apparently vending it at a discount.
Does eBay have a liquor license?

Re:Who gives a shit? (2, Insightful)

kckman (885561) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125104)

Completely agree! There was never a fit for Skype and eBay. The user count is only a ploy to attract potential buyers. How many of the users are paying clients? if the number was 6% they would be ecstatic.

Interesting (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23123320)

I was actually just finishing up a post [notlong.com] about the very same!

Call me when they're going to sell PayPal (-1, Flamebait)

Ossifer (703813) | more than 6 years ago | (#23123324)

That's the only eBay product/division which would be far better off as a separate entity.

Re:Call me when they're going to sell PayPal (-1, Flamebait)

compro01 (777531) | more than 6 years ago | (#23123462)

IMO, pay"pal" would be far better of as bankrupt.

Re:Call me when they're going to sell PayPal (3, Insightful)

owlnation (858981) | more than 6 years ago | (#23123768)

IMO, pay"pal" would be far better of as bankrupt.
That's precisely where they were headed before eBay bought them. Astonishingly, eBay turned them around. Which is not to say that this is a good thing. Paypal is a company that really should have gone bankrupt.

Re:Call me when they're going to sell PayPal (1, Insightful)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 6 years ago | (#23124202)

Why, exactly?
It seems to offer a valuable service at a reasonable rate, although I've only ever been a customer.
Sometimes an idea, like a jet engine, needs a few thousands RPMs to get it up to speed.

Re:Call me when they're going to sell PayPal (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23126426)

27000 reasons [wired.com] for a start

Re:Call me when they're going to sell PayPal (2, Informative)

adisakp (705706) | more than 6 years ago | (#23127466)

That's precisely where they were headed before eBay bought them. Astonishingly, eBay turned them around. Which is not to say that this is a good thing. Paypal is a company that really should have gone bankrupt.

EBay was actively fighting PayPal from being used on listings until they realized that it would just be easier to buy PayPal than to fight them and have their own payment service. Perhaps you remember Billpoint (eBay Payments)? EBay also promoted an Escrow service and a Western Union auction payment service as well.

Once EBay acquired PayPal, they were very aggressive about promoting Paypal and killed off Billpoint. They also pretty much shutdown access to their other payment partners and killed them off.

Now EBay not only has PayPal as the major option for payment, they force you to use either a premier or business account for EBay. You can no longer use a personal (free) account on EBay and you can't reject credit card payments. This works out better for buyers probably but it means more fees for sellers. With no more Paypal personal (free) accounts used on EBay, Paypal became a lot more profitable.

BTW, I'm probably crazy in the fact that I use PayPal as a "savings account" since they have high-interest on their money market and it's very liquid / easily accessible. As a bit of protection though, I got the Verisign security key for PayPal which generates a 6-digit number every 30 seconds that is unique for logging in.

Re:Call me when they're going to sell PayPal (1)

adisakp (705706) | more than 6 years ago | (#23127512)

FWIW, the Western Union auction payment system that got killed off when EBay aquired PayPal was called BidPay. Apparently EBay still supports escrow services [ebay.com] through www.escrow.com but they don't really make it as obvious or as easy to use as PayPal.

No way ... (4, Insightful)

Luscious868 (679143) | more than 6 years ago | (#23123328)

Is anybody surprised? Why Ebay bought them in the first place is beyond me. It made no sense.

Re:No way ... (3, Insightful)

Ossifer (703813) | more than 6 years ago | (#23123446)

Exactly, call me when they're going to sell PayPal -- that would be the real benefit to the world!

Re:No way ... (1)

oliderid (710055) | more than 6 years ago | (#23126448)

PayPal does make sense in the ebay business model. Skype does not. They can match all the needs of a new e-commerce. They provide a simple and efficient way to find your clients, a simple e-paiement method. However PayPal should get more attention, there are no new noticeable services for years. compared the services of PayPal 2003 to PayPal 2008 and you will hardly find any differences.

Re:No way ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23123470)

They could compensate for it by putting it on eBay.

Re:No way ... (4, Interesting)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 6 years ago | (#23124212)

As with the original purchase, I always get the feeling that much of the real business going on is not exactly public information.

Re:No way ... (2, Funny)

kitsunewarlock (971818) | more than 6 years ago | (#23124948)

They sniped it at $5...with 3.1bn shipping...

Re:No way ... (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125820)

Ebay buying Skype made about as much sense as fish riding a bicycle. There were no market intersection or competition. But as long as Skype still works it's fine.

Live voice auctions? (4, Insightful)

WolF-g (539252) | more than 6 years ago | (#23123340)

eBay's interest in Skype never made much sense to me. Live voice auctions might have fit in, but seem rather impractical. It will be nice to have Skype ownership that has a vested interest in Skype's core business.

Good (3, Insightful)

jrothwell97 (968062) | more than 6 years ago | (#23123342)

It still mystifies me as to why eBay, an auctioneer and item dealer, would want Skype, a telephony service.

I dunno. Maybe they were going to flog off switchboard hardware for a dime a piece.

Re:Good (1)

BrainInAJar (584756) | more than 6 years ago | (#23123356)

"Maybe they were going to flog off switchboard hardware for a dime a piece."

Plus $1000 shipping & handling

Re:Good (1)

AccUser (191555) | more than 6 years ago | (#23123526)

I don't know - mix this with presence information in ebay accounts, and when looking at an auction, you get a link to the seller's skype for text and/or voice chat.

Re:Good (2, Insightful)

BewireNomali (618969) | more than 6 years ago | (#23124826)

that's what i thought. for power sellers and ebay vendors, having that kind of ability to deliver on-demand customer service could have a lot of value. archive the chats in case of dispute and it seemed like a strong idea. guess i haven't thought it through.

Re:Good (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125484)

But you don't need to buy them to do that. You can easily pay them, and pass along the cost to the sellers for a tiny fraction of the cost.

Re:Good (2, Insightful)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125526)

I don't know - mix this with presence information in ebay accounts, and when looking at an auction, you get a link to the seller's skype for text and/or voice chat.
That's a good argument for partnering with a VoIP/telephony company, but not really for owning one outright. In fact, the last few decades of accepted business-management wisdom advises exactly against this sort of acquisition. Just because you have a need for something, doesn't mean you're necessarily the best person to supply it, even to yourself.

Telephony was nowhere near eBay's core competency, and the match never looked that great. And even if they were hell-bent on getting into VoIP, there were probably other, better companies that they could have acquired, ones that would have provided more value -- companies that specialized in linking IP services to existing phones for instance. (So an eBay merchant could plug in their existing phone no. and have buyers be able to click on a button on an auction and call them, or something like that.) Not to mention, pretty much any of them would have been a lot cheaper than Skype.

The Skype acquisition always looked like something that had been decided on first, based on some sort of 'gut feeling' driven by hype or wishful thinking or a sense that they were 'missing out', and then the reasoning for it was backfilled in later. (As I think a fair number of Web 2.0 acquisitions were.) Turns out, that's not a really good way to run a business.

Re:Good (1)

eyendall (953949) | more than 6 years ago | (#23126598)

Yes, but it is dangerous for ebay buyers to talk to sellers as they could take their transactions off-ebay and save money. ebay has always done all it can to discourage this. I think ebay got confused and lost sight of this when it bought Skype.

No Bid (1)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 6 years ago | (#23123364)

With feedback like that [paypalsucks.com] , there's no way I'd bid.

Re:No Bid (5, Insightful)

Al_Lapalme (698542) | more than 6 years ago | (#23124668)

I used to read PayPalSucks.com alot until I came to realize that a large number of complaints are from people who try to screw the system anyway (ie; people signing up with fake info complaining that their funds are frozen and they can't prove who they are, or opening multiple accounts, or closing an account after receiving a dispute (leaving a negative balance) - and opening a new account, then complaining that they got linked (DUMBASS)). there are probably legitimate complaints on the site and there are many things that Ebay and PayPal do that I don't agree with- but I wouldn't rely on the feedback on that site. I've been using paypal for 5 years and never had a problem.

Re:No Bid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23126160)

"I've been living in the same house for 18 years with the same habits, and I've never gotten burglarized."

-- Complacent Homeowner on _It Takes a Thief_

Re:No Bid (1)

jyunderwood (1016191) | more than 6 years ago | (#23127584)

People are always going to be more vocal when things go wrong.

You don't need Skype for voice communications (5, Insightful)

Starturtle (1148659) | more than 6 years ago | (#23123388)

Ebay originally believed that Skype would oil the wheels of its online markets by making communications easier between buyers and sellers
If there was a viable business model here, I would imagine that phone numbers, along with the shipping name and address, would have already been part of the personal information that would have been available after an auction was won. Skype would have only added some mild anonymity. Honestly, I think that most people prefer the impersonal interaction of e-Bay.

Re:You don't need Skype for voice communications (1)

v(*_*)vvvv (233078) | more than 6 years ago | (#23123518)

FYI, phone and address are already published. You can request user information for those you have transacted with. I think this was available since the beginning.

Whether the info is true is another story of course.

Retarded CEOs (4, Interesting)

wiredlogic (135348) | more than 6 years ago | (#23123442)

Let's get this straight. You have a thriving subsidiary with strong growth but it isn't sufficiently enmeshed with your core business to make you happy as the CEO or eBay. Your options are to:

1) Keep the business unit and enjoy sleeping in even larger piles of Franklins
2) Sell it off to hide some nasty financials in the core business with some Jedi accounting tricks
3) Hand the reins over to CowboyNeal and let him run the show

It seems to me like this guy is looking to bail out on eBay in the next couple of years and wants to have a successful divestiture to feather his cap. This is typical of the sort of short sighted bullshit that publicly traded American companies go through nowadays because the overpaid people running them don't care about anything other than their own career track.

Re:Retarded CEOs (4, Insightful)

jchawk (127686) | more than 6 years ago | (#23123606)

Okay I'll bite.

Ebay moved away from it's core business by acquiring Skype in the first place. It's not supporting their core business so it only makes sense to spin the business unit out into it's own business probably via public stock offering, thus infusing ebay with a bushel of cash. This allows them to get back to the core business and focus on expanding ebay not figuring out how to integrate a business that just doesn't fit.

Re:Retarded CEOs (3, Insightful)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 6 years ago | (#23124556)

Why sell it?
If i was in the trade of making silver, and then one day i buy a magic pot that makes gold, id keep the bot, let it cary on making gold, and id keep making silver. This has the bonus that if someday i fancy making silold or gilver i can.

Plus ebay doesnt go great with skype but paypal does, why dont they just keep sticking paypal to stuff. Online auctions were nice, but there no point putting all your eggs in the one basket, gumtree/facebook, is becoming a convenient way to get rid of junk without the haste of ebay, on-line shops are getting competitive, and froogle is getting good at finding what you want. Ebay isnt going to die but it wont keep growing forever.
There is plenty of areas where knowledge from ebay would be useful in setting up a new project with skype & paypal. For example
Renting rooms & flats, here in London, nobody wants to go through estate agents (because they're all ****s), but gumtree still looks and feels unprofesional, the search isnt very good and putting your phone number on the web isnt the best idea. solution an ebay like listing site that you link to a skype number, and has the bonus that tenants can set up a paypal direct pay so you dont even have to collect rent.
they have three great products, they dont need to link them.

Re:Retarded CEOs (1)

Strange Ranger (454494) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125552)

Hey I once had a silold and gilver sword. It was like a +50 versus magic armor!
But the damn thing was so heavy and it didn't do squat against plate mail.

Re:Retarded CEOs (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125562)

Companies that try to do more than one thing rarely do all of them well.

There are exceptions to this, but in general, most companies are highly specialized. They do something, they do it (hopefully) well, and that's how they make money. Everything they do is in furtherance of that goal: what's called in businesspeak a "core competency."

EBay's core competency isn't the same as Skype's. It doesn't really make sense for them to be in the same organization: with such differing strengths, it would be difficult for the corporate leadership to aggressively advance both of them. You'd always have one unit vying for resources and attention with the other. Rather than a cohesive organization, all working together, you'd have some weird joined-at-the-head abomination.

In that situation it makes perfect sense for the two companies to go their separate ways. By divesting itself of Skype, Ebay gets a lot of cash -- cash that it can invest into doing better what it already does well -- and Skype gets its independence.

It's not shortsighted. The acquisition in the first place was (IMO) not very well thought out, but they have a chance to fix their mistake -- albeit at some non-trivial cost -- and cut their losses before they run Skype into the ground and it stops being competitive.

Re:Retarded CEOs (4, Insightful)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125694)

If you'll notice, they said that revenue and user base increased. They didn't say that it was profitable. That's a very important distinction, because real businesses are concerned with actual profit, whereas businesses that harken to the dot-bomb try to ignore profitability and wave flags of distraction about revenue and traffic, hoping people ignore the fact that it's unprofitable and there's little hope of becoming profitable.

If the value of Skype is worth more in terms of selling off to some other sucker investors than it is keeping it in the hopes that it might be worth something some day, then it's better to sell it off.

Re:Retarded CEOs (1)

Darundal (891860) | more than 6 years ago | (#23126916)

FTA: "What we know is, Skype is a great stand-alone business," Ebay's CEO said. Its revenues this year are set to top $500m and the service will be profitable, he added.
No, pretty sure they said profitable. Although, mistakes like that are understandable, if you didn't RTFA.

Re:Retarded CEOs (1)

Darundal (891860) | more than 6 years ago | (#23126900)

They don't necessarily need to integrate Skype into their core business model. Hell, just running things as they are now is probably a good idea. I seriously doubt that Skype is keeping them from making ebay more profitable. I really do think that this is most likely option #2.

Re:Retarded CEOs (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#23123712)

The purchase of Skype for $4 billion was the short sighted bullshit typical of publicly traded American companies.

I guess they might make that back if they hold on to it for a long time, but I sort of doubt it.

Re:Retarded CEOs (2, Insightful)

jt2377 (933506) | more than 6 years ago | (#23124682)

the article said "fast growing" that doesn't translated into fast growing in profit. how much do eBay make from people paying the fee service and not the free service?

So if I understand this correctly... (3, Funny)

arotenbe (1203922) | more than 6 years ago | (#23123506)

So... eBay's CEO wants to sell Skype because it is making too much money?

I am awed by the clarity of his reasoning!

Re:So if I understand this correctly... (1)

perlchild (582235) | more than 6 years ago | (#23123546)

I understood it as "he wants to sell Skype and somehow profit personally from the sale" myself. He has to say Skype is profitable(to be able to sell it), but claim a good reason to do so. Making himself look good in the process is probably what started all this, if not actual desire for more dollars.

Re:So if I understand this correctly... (4, Insightful)

Killshot (724273) | more than 6 years ago | (#23123564)

It is not making too much money, it is making more money, it is growing, and it is better to sell something when it will look attractive to buyers. They over paid for skype, it takes a lot of resources to run, and has nothing to do with their core business. Getting rid of it now makes perfect sense.

Re:So if I understand this correctly... (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125580)

They want to sell Skype because they have no clue what to do with it. (Yeah, they probably should have thought about that earlier, but that's what's called a 'sunk cost' at this point.)

He has to talk about how profitable it is, or else nobody will buy it. Who'd want it otherwise? He's pretty much required to say all that stuff.

eBay should list it on eBay. (5, Funny)

theurge14 (820596) | more than 6 years ago | (#23123568)

I hear it's not a bad place to dump off unnecessary thing.

Re:eBay should list it on eBay. (1)

kitsunewarlock (971818) | more than 6 years ago | (#23124954)

Wow! Only $1...oh wait, with 1.6 billion dollars shipping...

Re:eBay should list it on eBay. (1)

Mike89 (1006497) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125396)

Yeah yeah, we heard you the first time [slashdot.org] .

Heh (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23123574)

Researchers from the University of Manchester have created some of the smallest transistors ever, measuring only one atom by 10 atoms.
In other news, researchers have created a microscopic transistor that is still 100 times the size of Rob Malda's penis.

The window is closing fast. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23123584)

Skype is easy and free. SIP/RTP VoIP is free too and it's getting easier, plus you can wire it into existing phone infrastructure at competitive prices. If eBay doesn't do something useful with Skype soon, it might be too late.

Re:The window is closing fast. (1)

lokpest (1136949) | more than 6 years ago | (#23123698)

Skype is easy and free
Free as in beer, not as in speech.

Re:The window is closing fast. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23123906)

You don't get a user base as big as Skype's with Open Source advocacy.

Re:The window is closing fast. (1)

nguy (1207026) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125466)

You don't get a user base as big as Skype's with Open Source advocacy.

No, you get it with marketing and loose promises.

But you sure can lose a user base as big as Skype's because you don't play ball with open source and open standards.

Re:The window is closing fast. (4, Funny)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#23123956)

I think you're confused. Skype is internet telephone software, for voice data. It's free, so it's free as in speech.

Re:The window is closing fast. (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 6 years ago | (#23126570)

No, it's free as in beer. The source code is not public, and the centralization of account management leaves it open to some fascinating man-in-the-middle monitoring.

Re:The window is closing fast. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23126684)

Are you getting paid to act dumb to discredit Open Sourcers?

Re:The window is closing fast. (5, Informative)

smclean (521851) | more than 6 years ago | (#23123720)

Let's hope they don't and Skype dies a quiet death!

We can all use SIP and not pay tribute for a proprietary protocol.. and we can use whatever client we want rather than an annoying proprietary one.

Skype's business model is lock-in.. Die Die Die!

Someone had to say it, this *is* slashdot..

Re:The window is closing fast. (1)

Angostura (703910) | more than 6 years ago | (#23124100)

Hi Can you suggest a non-proprietary standard-based piece of software that offers excellent quality video conferencing between Windows/Mac/Linux. Oh and it has to be simple enough for my 80+ year-old parents to set up.

Boycott Ebay and their BS (0, Flamebait)

coresnake (1215632) | more than 6 years ago | (#23123622)

Good riddance. I had my account closed by Paypal for no apparent reason and before when I tried to buy Skype credit with paypal they STILL forced me to put in my credit card info. It's all bs, I say let Skype free again. Fuck Ebay.

Not sure why skype was bought in the first place (4, Informative)

jd (1658) | more than 6 years ago | (#23123650)

There's no obvious connection between an internet phone service and an auction house. As such, there's no obvious way for the phone service to assist the auction side of things by any means other than being profitable. There's no obvious assistance through technological improvements, customer base, or provided service. Skilled developers in one field couldn't even transfer their skills to the other easily - codec/real-time developers aren't usually web/e-commerce developers. Internet phone systems are still very primitive compared to regular phone systems making a significant profit unlikely at best for the time being.

British Telecom is doing a lot with the Internet, has a lot of telecommunications experience and has the infrastructure. The BBC has experience with codec development, real-time delivery of multimedia to large numbers of people, and the problem of digital audio over unreliable networks. Timesys, in the US, has enormous experience with real-time systems and the problems of real-time computer-based applications, although I'm not sure if they have much experience with real-time networking. They might. Cisco, now they have Scientific Atlanta, have not only vast computer networking experience but experience with all kinds of high-performance network systems. Again, since cable television systems must be able to decode the signal fast enough, Cisco must have people skilled in high-performance codec development.

Any of these companies would seem to be better partners than eBay. None of them will likely buy it, but I could see Skype faring better with any of them. They have skills and experience eBay would not have had that relate to what Skype is doing.

This does raise an interesting question, though. If ISPs are highly concerned about the bandwidth requirements to deliver the BBC's iPlayer content (given that that can be delivered best-effort, whereas Skype's cannot) to the point where they think the BBC should pay extra for that bandwidth, and given that ISPs are keen to ditch neutralty and charge providers extra just to get best-effort, it follows Skype will be in for some hefty ISP bills in the future. Is it possible that such extra costs would make Internet telephony on any commercial scale completely impractical?

(To get the customer base to be profitable, Skype would need users worldwide, but they'd be paying every ISP that served at least one customer of theirs plus the backbone providers for both the extra bandwith and the high-end quality of service needed, as well as their own ISP bills. Assuming bandwith charges are equal to QoS charges, that means they pay twice what any other Internet service pays for the same effective level of service. That means they'd need twice as many users as a profitable e-commerce business, assuming service is a major cost. Tha means ramping up to that level would also be very expensive.)

total failure (3, Interesting)

owlnation (858981) | more than 6 years ago | (#23123680)

From their initial IPO eBay's share were the darling of the Nasdaq. They rose srtongly and consistently.

The day eBay bought Skype their share price went through the floor. It has never recovered.

Just as well Meg Whitman is already leaving, they really should have fired her a long time ago.

Re:total failure (4, Informative)

azuredrake (1069906) | more than 6 years ago | (#23124940)

Actually, EBay acquired skype in September of 2005. Their stock fell from 60$ a share to just over 30$ a share between January 2005 and April 2005, long before they picked up Skype. Their stock right now is at 31.71 (as of market close Friday, today), meaning it hasn't ended up far from where it fell to *before* they picked up Skype.

Re:total failure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23128840)

trying to fit the moon into frame:
the share holders had predicted that skype was going to be bought and found it less lucrative in [Jan 2005 to Apr 2005]. and now you can see it has come back to 30$ becuase they belive that skype might be sold off soon..

[yes, I m an oracle-but I hate SQL].

SIPIT (1)

frisket (149522) | more than 6 years ago | (#23123764)

Open it up to SIP, stupid!

Just like a Chevy Chase talk show.... (1)

i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) | more than 6 years ago | (#23123962)

It sounded really good at the time.

If I am not mistaken.... (3, Funny)

v(*_*)vvvv (233078) | more than 6 years ago | (#23124296)

Ebay is one of the least innovative companies of this decade. Ebay should sell ebay.

On ebay.

Re:If I am not mistaken.... (1)

jo42 (227475) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125086)

I bid 1000 quatloos.

If they want it to be successful... (1)

kpainter (901021) | more than 6 years ago | (#23124378)

They need a lowercase letter out front: eSkype
Look at Apple, they put a "i" in front of everything and just look at how successful they are.
Problem solved.

Skype's savior (2, Insightful)

kylehase (982334) | more than 6 years ago | (#23124610)

My prediction is that Skype will not only become more popular but also more profitable. Their savior will come in the form of the new mobile computing platform. UMPC [engadget.com] or MID [engadget.com] + 3G/3.5G/4G/WiMAX + Skype.

Once battery life increases (atom [intel.com] ) and mobile networks improve, techies will quickly adopt this platform as their primary phones but they'll still need to make and receive calls to others with PSTN phones.

SIP, not Skype (2, Informative)

nguy (1207026) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125478)

I have a phone with WiFi and 3.5G. What do I use? SIP, not Skype. I actually signed up with a SIP provider despite using Skype on the desktop. Skype on mobile phones is simply too painful compared to SIP.

Re:SIP, not Skype (1)

kylehase (982334) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125730)

Good point although I'm not sure how many people, including techies, know how to setup SIP software. SIP is still esoteric in my opinion. X-Lite is probably the most popular SIP soft client but it's not very user friendly.

Additionally, many countries including the US have poor mobile Internet connections that can't support the heavier G.711 codec required by many SIP providers. You're lucky to have a 3.5G connection.

Don't forget, most of these UMPCs and MIDs are real PCs (X86) with high resolution screens as compared to crippled Windows Mobile devices. Not sure what phone you're using but I for one refuse to use WM.

Re:SIP, not Skype (1)

nguy (1207026) | more than 6 years ago | (#23126222)

Most recent Nokia phones have SIP clients, WiFi, and HSDPA built in and integrated into everything (contacts, dialer, etc.). Making a SIP call is as easy as making a regular phone call. We're talking sleek, compact consumer phones with cameras and everything, not Windows Mobile or UMPC bricks.

In the US, you can get the Nokia N95, in Europe, the ones to get are the N82, N78, and N96.

Re:Skype's savior (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23126468)

So we're going to be using Skype as a mobile phone, which is a software package connected to a wireless network, running on a mobile phone?

The Financial Times Says that the CEO says... (5, Informative)

ageedoy (961786) | more than 6 years ago | (#23124776)

Well the CEO says:

Q. I read in the Financial Times that we may sell Skype. That if the synergies are strong, we'll keep it in our portfolio. If not, we'll reassess it. Is this true?

We have no plans to sell Skype... and why would we? As I said in the story, it's a great business with a great purpose -- enabling the world's conversations. With a new president, our plan for Skype is to focus on providing the best possible user experience and continuing the incredible growth momentum we've enjoyed with Skype for the past four years.

To be clear, I've fully supported big investments in Skype, including removing the earn-out, and bringing over some top talent like Josh. I think this business has tremendous potential that we've only started to tap. Josh and I are both excited about the prospects ... our job now is to make sure we continue to build on Skype's successes and grow its passionate community of users.

http://ebayinkblog.com/2008/04/18/john-donahoe-talks-to-ebay-ink/ [ebayinkblog.com]

time to put it to auction (1)

koalapeck (1137045) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125026)

Well I suppose eBay can just throw up a no reserve auction and get it done, eh?

care much? (2, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125186)

if i was ebay i'd be careful selling off profitable parts of the company. now that your trying to force people into using paypal you might find your going to need the month

Google (1)

nguy (1207026) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125414)

I think it would make a lot of sense for Google to buy them and integrate them with GrandCentral and GTalk.

What? (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#23126908)

evaluating a sale of Skype if new ways cannot be found for the fast-growing service to support its core e-commerce business.

So, you have a hugely profitable and growing division, that you're going to sell off because ... what?

Not that I ever understood the logic of EBay owning Skype anyway: I suppose they felt they could use it to augment their core business in some way, but that always seemed a remote prospect anyway. Rather like @Home spending some 900 million on Blue Mountain. That was a WTF moment for me, and of course it wasn't hard to figure out why @Home eventually folded, with that kind of decision-making going on at the top.

Two Lousy Theories (1)

therblig (543426) | more than 6 years ago | (#23126934)

The purchase of Skype never made much sense to me, as it hasn't to anyone else here, either. One theory is that since the stock price had already plummeted and then stagnated, they may have been looking to infuse the company with new and innovative talent to shake them from the doldrums. Sometimes the way to get that is to buy another company.

I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but I have a conspiracy theory, so maybe I am a latent conspiracy theorist. In the never-ending global war on terror, much has been made of the inability to track many forms of online communication. Skype was owned by Sweden and the US government would have less leverage with them than an American-owned company. My theory is that the government cut a deal with E-bay to buy Skype in exchange for favors of some sort so that communications between you, me, and every other potential terrorist could be more easily monitored.

Who should buy Skype? (1)

kahrytan (913147) | more than 6 years ago | (#23127326)

Who should buy Skype? GOOGLE. It would make a good addition to Google Talk and Gmail.
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?