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Skype Files For IPO

Soulskill posted about 4 years ago | from the going-for-the-gusto dept.

Businesses 87

helix2301 writes with news that Skype has filed plans with the SEC for an initial public offering. From TechCrunch: "According to the filing, Skype's revenues for the first six months of 2010 were $406 million, with a net income of only $13 million. But a big portion of that was from interest income. That is only a 3 percent net margin, and this isn't exactly a new business. Its income from operations was only $1.4 million for the six months. However, its gross margins are 51 percent, and have been expanding steadily as the company benefits from the scale of is operations and is able to negotiate lower telephone termination fees around the world."

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Doh (0)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | about 4 years ago | (#33191346)

I read the headline as "Skype Fails for IPO"

Reading fail.

Re:Doh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33191602)

How interesting.

Re:Doh (1)

MrMarket (983874) | about 4 years ago | (#33194342)

I read the headline as "Skype Fails for IPO"

Prophetic. [google.com] without the hardware.

Re:Doh (1)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | about 4 years ago | (#33194628)

oy.

Secret new project (5, Funny)

Sockatume (732728) | about 4 years ago | (#33191414)

Skype to distribute protocol based on millisecond trades of own stock, Voice Over IPO.

Good Luck, Skype (5, Funny)

drewzhrodague (606182) | about 4 years ago | (#33191418)

I'm a long-time Skype user, and while it isn't my favorite application, it certainly works, and connects me to people around the world (for work). Good luck, Skype. I do hope this brings plenty of improvements and functionality. If not, we'll use something else!

Re:Good Luck, Skype (1)

Morth (322218) | about 4 years ago | (#33191546)

Perhaps... I just wish they stay a good service offering competition to the phone companies. With their mobile apps finally being available without special accounts my husband can finally call his home country mobile phones relatively cheaply from anywhere.
As an IPO, there's a risk they'll become part of the oligiopoly.

Re:Good Luck, Skype (2, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | about 4 years ago | (#33191844)

as opposed to part of eBay, sister to paypal?

Re:Good Luck, Skype (4, Informative)

TrisexualPuppy (976893) | about 4 years ago | (#33191578)

Yeah, my brother works for eBay, so he still knows a bunch of people at Skype. They are actually looking forward to the IPO so that they can spend some of the initial capital making some (to use his words) "much needed improvements."

We'll see how this goes!

MOD PARENT UP (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33191822)

MOD PARENT UP

Re:Good Luck, Skype (2, Insightful)

Pharmboy (216950) | about 4 years ago | (#33192362)

They are actually looking forward to the IPO so that they can spend some of the initial capital making some (to use his words) "much needed improvements."

Over the last 20 years, I can't help but notice that every time they have an IPO, to make some "much needed improvements", all the original founders start driving really expensive cars and move into very different neighborhoods. Not that I blame them, but part of me always thinks that an IPO is always planned to happen at the zenith of their theoretical worth, before the reality of the a poor business model kicks in and everyone realizes you can't make much money doing whatever it is the company does. Netscape is the prime example. But then again, while I've never used Skype, I can see much more utility in what they are doing than just a web browser.

Re:Good Luck, Skype (3, Informative)

maxume (22995) | about 4 years ago | (#33192660)

The Skype founders got their pretty cars when Ebay payed $1 billion for the company.

That's the record Meg Whitman is running for governor of California on.

The beneficiaries of the current IPO will be the private equity group that picked up the pieces from Ebay.

Re:Good Luck, Skype (3, Informative)

Critical Facilities (850111) | about 4 years ago | (#33193124)

The Skype founders got their pretty cars when Ebay payed $1 billion for the company.

Actually, they paid $2.6 Billion [cnn.com] ..

Re:Good Luck, Skype (1)

ottothecow (600101) | about 4 years ago | (#33195358)

I think that is half the of the point of the IPO. The investors put their money at risk a a while ago with the hope that one day they would be able to earn a decent return on it. The IPO will raise new funds for the company, but it will also move ownership of Skype into a liquid market where original (or more, post-ebay interim) investors can choose to increase or decrease their holdings.

Without the IPO (or a buyout by some larger company), it is very hard for the investors to see any gains. Of course with an IPO, it needs to be done at the right time when there is actually a productive use for the capital infusion or there will be little interest in the shares at the IPO price and the stock will soon fall.

Re:Good Luck, Skype (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | about 4 years ago | (#33195442)

Well, if the company was making a decent profit, then the investors would get their return in dividends, which would also make the company easier to sell whole to other investors. But for companies that size (multi-billion) it isn't that easy to find buyers, granted. Many companies never IPO and do fine, but they rely on being actually profitable.

Dividends can be a bad sign (1)

sjbe (173966) | about 4 years ago | (#33197606)

Well, if the company was making a decent profit, then the investors would get their return in dividends,

A company only should pay a dividend if the company believes the return on investment the company can make is less than the return the shareholders can make on their own with other investments. In other words, paying a dividend is normally an admission that the company is a shitty or slow growing investment. If a pre-IPO company is paying a dividend they are basically saying you can do better with this money than we can by reinvesting it in the company. No less an authority than Warren Buffet frowns on paying dividends and his company (Berkshire Hathaway) does not pay a dividend.

Please note, it's not that dividends are all bad but just that a dividend is often not the best use of capital. If a company can't make better use of capital than its shareholders, why be in business?

which would also make the company easier to sell whole to other investors.

Potential purchasers would want the cash (at a discount preferably) rather than having it paid out to investors. Paying out a dividend makes a company LESS attractive to investors because the company is disposing of assets (cash) that could be put to use.

But for companies that size (multi-billion) it isn't that easy to find buyers, granted.

Skype isn't actually that big a company. Not tiny but one of the big telecoms or a tech company like Apple could buy them easily - not that they should. Skype's valuation is (or rather was) bloated way beyond reasonable and eBay HUGELY overpaid for Skype. The proof is that eBay eventually wrote off much of the investment as unrecoverable.

Two words : File Sharing. (1)

Weezul (52464) | about 4 years ago | (#33196734)

I'd recommend they add friend-to-friend file sharing with blind encrypted peer-to-peer caching, kinda like Freenet. And then mock the system up as a social networking site, i.e. photos are given special features, but arbitrary filetypes are supported.

They'd immediately gain hard core file sharers because solid friend-to-friend systems are immune to the MafIAA. All those file sharers would serve as their basis for beating Facebook.

Re:Two words : File Sharing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33198762)

I don't know, but I really hate when everything wants to use the magic word "Social" these days. I go to a web site to find what restaurant I should go to and it wants to link to facebook, etc. No, thanks, I am just looking for a damn restaurant. It's like if I tried to look in the phone book and suddenly the yellow pages started talking to me "Why don't you put your friend's phone numbers in here too?" Hmm.. because that's not what the yellow pages are for?

Skype mobile apps are problematic (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | about 4 years ago | (#33197624)

There are good examples how you can be even more successful and none of them involves around any money.

Skype's own clients on mobile devices are really problematic and third parties (read as:free coders) like Fring, which is a giant on mobile scene have been treated really bad recently.

I personally use Nimbuzz but removed Skype from its profiles as connection was always shaky (for some reason) with Skype servers. So, I decided to install their "official" version, a nice attempt but a giant in terms of Symbian devices. It was also packaged (think like deb,msi,pkg) wrong so, it installs a very critical tiny framework to "storage" which causes severe issues. The real issue is, they are re-inventing wheel needlessly. Such issues with "network switching", "auto reconnect" has been long fixed on Fring, Nimbuzz and whatever IM program which are very mature.

BTW, this is experience from Symbian which is very close to Android in terms of "developer freedom". There is no "don't use that api or we won't post it to app store" like stuff going on. So, it is not like iPhone where you give credit to developers for coding rather lightly/basic because of its SDK/TOS etc.

You know, I hope they don't say "Even Google didn't go their own way and adopted XMPP/Jabber" at one point. Things really started to remind the ICQ 1998. Their serious issue is, they are much like 1990s minded AOL. These days, it is all about open source, I am not talking about Linux on Desktop :) For example, check http://world.waze.com/ [waze.com] , its client which does way more than Skype is open source and GPL V2 even.

Why IPO? That sounds dumb. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33192320)

Why don't they just auction off the shares on ebay?

Re:Why IPO? That sounds dumb. (1)

linhares (1241614) | about 4 years ago | (#33194292)

"can't recommend; would not buy again; second-rate stuff; stay away"

maybe?

Hello world (2, Insightful)

linhares (1241614) | about 4 years ago | (#33191432)

so this is the moment skype starts to get serious as a business? they already f*cked up royally by losing the social networking scene to FB, when they had a huge head start. They could have made awesome phones years ago, but blew it with those crappy handsets. And correct me if I'm wrong, but I still haven't seen the full skype client for android and webos. At any rate, this has been a company with so much promise for so long--I can only guess that fiasco with the "joltid" dudes is responsible for these screw-ups.

Re:Hello world (3, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | about 4 years ago | (#33191522)

Not every web service with a social function needs to be Facebook.

Not all great software needs bespoke hardware. Ubiquitous software abhors it.

Re:Hello world (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33191706)

Not every web service needs to be Facebook, but regardless, just about every web service organized as a business wants to be Facebook.

Re:Hello world (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 4 years ago | (#33200948)

In scale and finances, yes. In nature, no. Nobody got to be a trillionaire making own-brand cornflakes, and they certainly shouldn't try when they have a successful business as the nation's go-to oatmeal company, if you'll pardon the metaphor.

Re:Hello world (1)

jcookeman (843136) | about 4 years ago | (#33191622)

I have Skype on my Android. Works mint!

Re:Hello world (3, Informative)

Ozymandias_KoK (48811) | about 4 years ago | (#33192004)

He said full version. Dunno about yours, but my Skype only works over Verizon's connection, with WiFi not allowed to be used.

Re:Hello world (3, Informative)

grumling (94709) | about 4 years ago | (#33192422)

That's because they did a deal with Verizon for exclusive Skype on Android. The really troubling thing is that there's no determination as to how long this will be.

I have somewhat marginal cell coverage in my home from T-mobile. When using my N900 it is not a big deal thanks to the incredible Skype integration. I just set the "forward when unreachable" call forwarding (**62*) to my Skype-in number and it works like butter. With my Galaxy-S, not only can't I get skype, but it seems that the Verizon version will never let you use WiFi for calling. That makes it worthless for me.

Re:Hello world (1)

Pla123 (855814) | about 4 years ago | (#33197094)

If skype doesn't want our business, maybe it's time we move on to some other client that works on Android and works over WiFi & 3g...
Enough supporting companies trying to screw us...
WhyTF did they block Fringe?!

Re:Hello world (1)

generalhavok (1432165) | about 4 years ago | (#33193210)

I actually like the implementation of Skype that they did for Android. I own a Droid, and I use the Skype calling to call my girlfriend, who lives in another country (we hope to be re-united soon). The nice thing about their Android application is that when I dial her, it places the call through my phone by dialing a domestic number, presumably a server somewhere, which then patches me through to her phone. The service is a lot more clear, and has less latency than when I call her on my iPhone Skype, or from my computer, as in those cases it's passing the call through WiFi and my internet connection. The rates are the cheapest I have found for calling, and I'm very satisfied with the service, it's as good as direct dialing. So that's my .02, which is about what I pay a minute to talk to my loved one, and it's well worth it. I'm satisfied with Skype and I wish them the best, I hope that they don't screw it up.

Re:Hello world (1)

NiteShaed (315799) | about 4 years ago | (#33196006)

Since I don't know where you're calling I can't directly argue the rate, but for me Google Voice is [marginally] cheaper, and is built into the dialer in Android phones. Skype's big draw for me was the ability to make calls when I had wifi but no cell service, so Skype's Android client, even if it were available on my non-Verizon phone, would be completely useless. No problem though, because I picked up Fring, which allowed Skype-out calls over wifi. Then Skype told them to cut it out, and they dropped Skype support and Skype was once again useless to me from my phone. But wait; then Nimbuzz came out, and supports Skype-out over wifi, and hopefully will continue to do so until one of the following happens:
1) Skype releases a full client, and not the Verizon-inspired crippled version (I know you like that version, but there's no reason that a full version can't have a "use cell network" option as well as wifi)
2) Google rolls Gizmo5 into Google-Voice, at which point it's bye-bye Skype.

Skype should be worrying about option 2.

Re:Hello world (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33193356)

A full skye client on WebOS is impossible since the SDK does not support microphone access. This will be added in the coming months (supposedly).

friend-to-friend file sharing (1)

Weezul (52464) | about 4 years ago | (#33196834)

I agree, they needed a file (photo) sharing feature. Ideally they'd add general purpose friend-to-friend file sharing with blind encrypted peer-to-peer caching, kinda like Freenet. Hordes would dump Facebook for Facebook minus games plus piracy. You'd give photos special features of course, but allow arbitrary filetypes.

After IPO (5, Insightful)

jcookeman (843136) | about 4 years ago | (#33191434)

Be prepared for an increase in tariffs and other hidden fees.

Re:After IPO (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 4 years ago | (#33193024)

So how does SKype compare to this new competition I discovered? http://www.magicjack.com/5/index.asp [magicjack.com]

I don't know anything about MagicJack, but it looks easy enough to use, and $20 a year is certainly a good price. That's cheaper than my current 5 c/minute rate. C-NBC called it a "Skype and Vonage killer"?

Re:After IPO (1)

groslyunderpaid (950152) | about 4 years ago | (#33194696)

I use it, it works, fantastic.

Why? (5, Insightful)

dnaumov (453672) | about 4 years ago | (#33191458)

There are exactly 2 reasons for a company to do an IPO:

One involves injecting a large amount of capital into aggressive growth. Does anyone see any particular way how Skype COULD grow agressively?
The second one involves robbing unsuspecting investors of their money.

Re:Why? (3, Interesting)

Sockatume (732728) | about 4 years ago | (#33191592)

Approaching one of the big cellular networks would be a good move, and require investment to improve their capacity. Right now they have a deal with Three in the UK that sees their client installed on all their smartphones. Skype snatches the lucrative "overseas student calling home" market away from phonecards, gets some more visibility, while Three gets to look like they're the hot shit dogs on the 3G data campus. (In fact, they've arranged to route Skype calls on their standard voice network for convenience.)

They're probably viewing Apple's recent attempt to launch videocalling in the US with some enthusiasm, too. That'd take some serious infrastructure.

Re:Why? (1)

Nursie (632944) | about 4 years ago | (#33194120)

"Facetime" apparently only works over WiFi, unless you have a jailbroken phone. Probably exactly because the networks aren't ready for hoards of people (who have had video-call capable phones for years) suddenly discovering that an iPhone can do it and using it for a month.

Re:Why? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 4 years ago | (#33200956)

Doesn't have to be over 3G. If people get interested in video chat, they could get interested in Skype video chat because of its ubiquity, and that's a way into getting them as Skypein and Skypeout customers.

Re:Why? (1)

TheSunborn (68004) | about 4 years ago | (#33191610)

How about "You need to sell the company (Skype) because you need the money for other projects" and an IPO may be the best way to sell a company.

Or how about "We need to focus on our core business, and there is no synergy between an auction site and a ip phone company so we sell it. (Being owned by Ebay may make it difficult for Skype to do some thing they need to do, so selling it may be the best business thing to do.

But we are talking Skype a company with many non-paying customers and almost no income and revenue so I guess your option 2: "Let's dump it before other people realize how much overvalued Skype is" is the most likely answer.

Re:Why? - too late, already done in end 2009 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33193556)

Ebay already sold Skype, it was in 2009 http://techcrunch.com/2009/11/19/ebay-skype-sale/

Re:Why? (1)

stms (1132653) | about 4 years ago | (#33193974)

They could come out with a Skype cell phone that would make calls over 3G Edge ect. eliminating the need to buy a phone line for your phone and potentially saving you money. Don't get me wrong I don't think they will/could do this (or if they did I don't see it being too successful) but this is the only way I see any possibility of growth.

That would be amazing... I mean really... (1)

way2trivial (601132) | about 4 years ago | (#33195662)

if they did that, they could even make a web page
http://www.skype.com/intl/en-us/get-skype/on-your-mobile/skype-mobile/ [skype.com]

all about it....

Re:That would be amazing... I mean really... (1)

stms (1132653) | about 4 years ago | (#33195808)

I guess I should have done a little research before posting.

Re:Why? (1)

ckaminski (82854) | about 4 years ago | (#33196128)

Hell, just advertising vs. Vonage could help them out, particularly their video conferencing functions. Paired with some slick devices, they would be poised to grow - plus they can be used from your iPhones/Androids.

There's a lot of long-term upside to Skype, IMHO.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33198876)

Skype could certainly grow aggressively. As they grow their use base, they will have more call volume, and they can negotiate lower prices. If they pass some of the lower price onto consumers, their demand will go up further. Their infrastructure and management costs are largely fixed too, so as the number of users grow, the their profits will go up more (note that their gross margin is quite high).

What will they do with the money? (1, Insightful)

Just_Say_Duhhh (1318603) | about 4 years ago | (#33191460)

TFA doesn't give any hint about what they plan to do with the IPO cash, and without that info, it's hard to put a wager on this deal. If this is just a way for Ebay to get a nice payday, count me out.

Re:What will they do with the money? (5, Informative)

Coopjust (872796) | about 4 years ago | (#33192248)

The SEC filing (part of the summary) states that the money from the offering will be used for "general corporate purposes", but this becomes more interesting when put in perspective of their prospectus, where they want to grow in four areas:

First, we believe that there is a significant opportunity to grow our user base.

Yawn. Most companies are going to claim this. Next!

Second, we believe that we can generate more communications revenue from our users by improving awareness and adoption of our paid products and introducing premium products such as group video calling.

They want to charge for video calling, even though Oovoo and others offer it for free? Good luck, unless you're going to split it into free group calling or do a freemium model (certain group calling features are limited to paid users).

Third, we will continue to develop new monetization models for our large connected user base. We currently generate a small portion of our net revenues through marketing services (such as advertising) and licensing, which we expect will grow as a percentage of our net revenues over time.

They want to make more money off of the people who aren't paying for Skype. I predict more ads and third party ads within the Skype application.

Fourth, we will broaden our user base to include more business users. For example, we have recently released and will continue to develop and market Skype for Business products that aim to capitalize on demand for Skype from small, medium and large businesses.

This is where the money could be useful: scaling up development and investing in new technologies and getting businesses aware. This requires people and time, which takes money. Right now, Skype isn't big in the corporate world from what I've seen, with big warnings from my company not to install it (and heavy filtering on anything Skype related). If they compromise and possibly allow a business client that keeps within the network for anything that isn't a call to an outgoing line (and maybe integrates with the desktop app), I could see Skype getting a major foothold.

Just some observations. I'm not wowed by this IPO either, and the lack of specificity of how they're going to spend the money makes me wonder if they've even gotten that far yet.

Re:What will they do with the money? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33201236)

They want to charge for video calling, even though Oovoo and others offer it for free? Good luck,

Wow, what a troll bastard. How come nobody catched it? Either you are a good troll or your reading comprehension is wrong. Read again:

introducing premium products such as group video calling.

Let me explain to you: this means that it will be possible to make a group call where 3 or more people can share they video with each other.

If you look at your mentioned

oovoo

you will see that it is ONLY the 2 way video-call what is free (similar to skype so meh, why would anyone want to go to that thing called ovvooo) and to get the

Video call with 3, 4 or 6 participants in high resolution.

You need to pay a monthly fee or some credits.

Buried... (2, Interesting)

BrokenHalo (565198) | about 4 years ago | (#33191640)

...at the end of the article:

part of Skype's strategy will be to:...Develop new monetization models, including advertising."

That doesn't sound good. Skype is quite useful to me at the moment (for both VOIP and IM), but if advertising gets in the way, I won't be very happy.

But on the other hand, I guess I use a combination of hosts-file blocking and adblock/flashblock with my browser, so Skype's intrusions will just get added to the counter-measures I take.

Re:Buried... (5, Interesting)

linhares (1241614) | about 4 years ago | (#33191676)

WE INTERRUPT THIS call for a message from our sponsors

Re:Buried... (1)

dave420 (699308) | about 4 years ago | (#33196082)

If advertising gets in the way, stop using the product. Using AdBlock is about as far from honest as you can get. Why deny the providers of a service - that you openly admit to liking - revenue for providing you that service? I just don't understand this selfish attitude.

Re:Buried... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33198152)

I like to consider AdBlock kinda like bandwidth control for the website and ad services. I don't ever plan to buy anything from those ads. If I want something, I will go find it. So showing them to me is a useless waste of their bandwidth. So see, I'm saving them money on wasted bandwidth.

It's not selfish, it's smart. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33198572)

I didn't start using AdBlock until advertisements started being a major vector for malware attacks. If the people using advertising go back to using solely JPG images and dumb URL links that are completely safe, I'll stop using AdBlock. Until then, they can whine all they want - I'm not opening up my computer to viruses so that they can eke a few half-pennies out of my eyeballs.

Re:Buried... (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | about 4 years ago | (#33200540)

Why deny the providers of a service - that you openly admit to liking - revenue for providing you that service? I just don't understand this selfish attitude.

Bullshit. I pay Skype for phone calls and text messages I make to POTS or mobile phones. The cost of these is slightly over the odds compared to a number of SIP offerings, but it's worth it to me to have a convenient softphone that does IM as well.

There's nothing selfish about wanting the product to stay that way, rather than inflicting advertising on us as well.

The name Skype (1, Insightful)

prakslash (681585) | about 4 years ago | (#33191650)

May be it is just me but I never liked the name of the company/service.
I am not against whimsical names. They have been all the rage since the dotcom era.
But, the name has to be at least easily pronunceable (like Google, Twitter etc).

I bet everyone of you has wondered at least once whether it was pronounced "skyyp" or "skyypeh" or "skip" or whatever.
And, to me, this confusion distracts the customer. Makes the company look amateur. And, makes the customer wonder about the quality and the professionalism of the compnay's services.

Re:The name Skype (2, Insightful)

Ksevio (865461) | about 4 years ago | (#33191716)

Actually, I've never wondered that. It's pronounced the same way as "Type" or "Hype" - it's not like they made up a strange new spelling combination.

Re:The name Skype (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33193910)

What parent said.. seriously, GP, are you retarded? What English words have a "-ype" at the end are pronounced differently so that you were confused?

Re:The name Skype (2, Funny)

larry bagina (561269) | about 4 years ago | (#33191906)

ok, prakslash.

Re:The name Skype (2, Informative)

hhedeshian (1343143) | about 4 years ago | (#33192008)

"Hello. Welcome to skype call testing services..."

or something like that. They have no excuse.

Re:The name Skype (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33195684)

Never met anybody that mispronounced Skype...

Twitter is easily pronounceable but I still call it Twatter.

Re:The name Skype (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33195826)

I bet everyone of you has wondered at least once whether it was pronounced "skyyp" or "skyypeh" or "skip" or whatever.

And, to me, this confusion distracts the customer. Makes the company look amateur. [..]

I never had a problem with the name, SKY-PE. Easy. However, their UI design is the stuff of nightmares. Hearts on sticks? Really?!

Re:The name Skype (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 4 years ago | (#33197472)

I bet everyone of you has wondered at least once whether it was pronounced "skyyp" or "skyypeh" or "skip" or whatever.

And, to me, this confusion distracts the customer. Makes the company look amateur. And, makes the customer wonder about the quality and the professionalism of the compnay's services.

Yeah I know loads of people who didn't purchase Wacom tablets because they were wracking their brains over whether it's "way-comm" or "wack-umm".

Last time I used Skype (4, Funny)

mandark1967 (630856) | about 4 years ago | (#33191686)

I tried to call my broker to buy some shares. Comcast picked that moment to throttle my traffic so the connection got a bit "wonky". Now I own 10,000,000 shares of SCO.

I'm boned.

Re:Last time I used Skype (5, Funny)

vlm (69642) | about 4 years ago | (#33191864)

Now I own 10,000,000 shares of SCO.

Well, there's $10 down the drain.

Re:Last time I used Skype (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33192814)

Now I own 10,000,000 shares of SCO.

Well, there's $10 down the drain.

So the shares have gone up?

Financial Analysis (2, Informative)

krem81 (578167) | about 4 years ago | (#33191806)

Dear Slashdot (and TechCrunch for that matter), please don't switch to financial analysis just yet. The statement "But a big portion of that was from interest income." is both misleading (why focus on this portion of the financial statement as opposed to the operational part?) and incorrect (net financial result is actually a loss of about $4.3M). Additionally, when you say that "this isn't exactly a new business", that implies that there is lack of growth and the 3% return on revenue is somewhat indicative of future potential, while in the very next sentence you show that there was over 50% growth in revenue.

Re:Financial Analysis (1)

krem81 (578167) | about 4 years ago | (#33191870)

Sorry for replying to my own post; the revenue growth in question is actually around 25% year over year as can be gleaned from the financials released by Skype.

Excellent news! (4, Funny)

Lev13than (581686) | about 4 years ago | (#33191846)

This IPO couldn't come a moment too soon - my Vonage share certificates were starting to get pretty soggy and smelly. Switching to Skype shares will freshen up the cage and make my birds much happier.

Re:Excellent news! (1)

tomhudson (43916) | about 4 years ago | (#33192336)

"This IPO couldn't come a moment too soon - my Vonage share certificates were starting to get pretty soggy and smelly. Switching to Skype shares will freshen up the cage and make my birds much happier."

Switch to SCO.PK (or whatever they are today)

  1. Cheaper than old newspaper
  2. Already smell like a dead pig, so you won't have to change them because they *start* to semll funky
  3. Even an old newspaper can be recycled into something useful

What they need to do (3, Informative)

Mechanik (104328) | about 4 years ago | (#33191956)

The service is great. I pay $35 for unlimited calling across Canada and the US. It's a no brainer for me. Working from home? No problem, I make all the conference calls I want without tying up the home phone. Need to phone mom long distance? No problem. Working from my girlfriend's place where there's no landline? No problem.

There is the occasional issue. Sometimes (rarely), calls drop. Sometimes (very rarely) there is a number somewhere in the US I can't call. Honestly the biggest problem I have is that my number comes up weird on call display, so there's times when people I'm phoning don't answer because they think I'm some telemarketer, but really that's just my own fault for not shelling out $14 for some Skype credits so they can send an SMS message to my cell phone to confirm that they can use my cell number for call display.

Really their problem is they need to advertise better. When I tell people what I pay for my service, they immediately say "Holy crap that's cheap!" Most people just don't know it's out there, or if they do, they think it's only for Skype-to-Skype calling, and don't know you can call regular phones with it.

It would be nice if they had Skype-In support here (Canada), but really for what I'm paying, I can hardly complain. I easily am recouping in long distance savings what I'm paying out. It is not very hard to rack up $35 in long distance charges in a year otherwise.

Re:What they need to do (1)

Shikaku (1129753) | about 4 years ago | (#33192238)

I think you should mention I pay $35 per month or year.

While I can't answer what you pay, I pay $60 per year.

http://www.amazon.com/IPEVO-S0-10-Desktop-Phone-Black-handset/dp/B0028NJTUE [amazon.com]

And I basically have a regular phone with this, although it seems to be discontinued by Ipevo. Works great.

Re:What they need to do (1)

Mechanik (104328) | about 4 years ago | (#33193444)

I think you should mention I pay $35 per month or year.

Sorry, I thought the following made it clear:

It is not very hard to rack up $35 in long distance charges in a year otherwise.

But yes, to be clear, it's $35 per year.

Re:What they need to do (1)

whtmarker (1060730) | about 4 years ago | (#33192396)

Thats neat that they use SMS confirmation for call display for only $14 CDN. Is that a one time fee or an annual fee? In the US skype-in allows you to use your skype-in number for call display. Its too bad about skype-in not being available in canada. I plan to move back there some day and would love it if my skype hardware (standalone skype phone and my ipod touch+microphone+skype) would just work with a CDN phone number. Its funny that its currently owned by the 'Canada Pension Plan Investment Board' which is a government board, and its the government laws that explicitly outlaw skype-in for something related to 911 laws.

Re:What they need to do (1)

Mechanik (104328) | about 4 years ago | (#33193378)

Is that a one time fee or an annual fee?

One time fee, as far as I recall. It's just basically so that they can confirm that you are the actual owner of that phone number. They send a message to your phone (hence why the Skype Credits are required), then you message back to confirm that you got the message. Otherwise nefarious types could use the service to masquerade as though they were calling from your number.

Re:What they need to do (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33193122)

I tried to use Skype as my primary phone for about a year. The Skype-Out works alright and I used it mostly to call within the US and international to Germany. Occasionally there were times when I couldn't dail out for whatever reason and I had to restart the client.

Skype-In was not very good. Many times people would call my number and get voicemail despite the fact that my client was connected and functional.

Both the not being able to dial out and not getting inbound calls pointed to bugs in the client and/or server architecture. Since everything is/was closed source there was nothing I could do about it and ended up dropping their service.

I now use a regular voip provider and have not had any issues. Although I dislike the fact that VOIP/SIP is not encrypted.

with all that IPO cash (2, Insightful)

serbanp (139486) | about 4 years ago | (#33192140)

they should fix the goddamn security issues and start having decent CUSTOMER SUPPORT.

Starting in 2007, I was a loyal skypeout customer, plunking something like 75 to 100 USD/mo into my skype account and even buying dedicated skype hardware (I have an ipevo skype handset). However, last month someone apparently broke into my account, twice, and successfully charged my CC for skypeout credit into a different account! Not big deal (my bank reversed the charge), however, skype's own customer support proved to be totally incompetent tracking the issue or even acknowledging that there is a problem. They lost me as a customer.

To be successful, skype needs paying customers. Unless they come to their senses and fix the glaring security problems (their forums are full of stories like mine) and implement a real customer support system (no, one email reply per day is NOT C.S.) , they won't attract and keep too many of them customers.

Re:with all that IPO cash (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about 4 years ago | (#33192460)

they should fix the goddamn security issues and start having decent CUSTOMER SUPPORT.

      Nah, it's much more important to release a new version that spams you with little pop up windows reminding you that you can use Skype to actually call people (I'm shocked! I had installed it thinking it would defrag my hard drive).

Re:with all that IPO cash (1)

sleeping143 (1523137) | about 4 years ago | (#33194364)

I'm shocked! I had installed it thinking it would defrag my hard drive.

That's ridiculous. If it did that, there wouldn't be a linux version!

Re:with all that IPO cash (1)

Airw0lf (795770) | about 4 years ago | (#33201538)

they should fix the goddamn security issues and start having decent CUSTOMER SUPPORT.

Nah, it's much more important to release a new version that spams you with little pop up windows reminding you that you can use Skype to actually call people (I'm shocked! I had installed it thinking it would defrag my hard drive).

Mod this guy up - I can't get over how many stupid pop-up windows v4.2 has. And the worst thing is that it's not even advertising that could be considered to be remotely useful. It truly is messages along the lines of "Call your friends now!" Ridiculous.

Re:with all that IPO cash (1)

Airw0lf (795770) | about 4 years ago | (#33201560)

they should fix the goddamn security issues and start having decent CUSTOMER SUPPORT.

Nah, it's much more important to release a new version that spams you with little pop up windows reminding you that you can use Skype to actually call people (I'm shocked! I had installed it thinking it would defrag my hard drive).

Yeah, v4.2 is a joke. Inane ads at the bottom of your contact list and popping up near the top as well. All the ads aren't even promoting anything of value - it truly is crap like "Call your friends using Skype!"

Lessons learned from Vonage IPO (2, Interesting)

JamJam (785046) | about 4 years ago | (#33192202)

Vonage's IPO was a disaster with their stock price dropping +20% the following day of their IPO [wikipedia.org] . Investors sued and Business 2.0 Magazine awarded that IPO as the 14th of 101 Dumbest Moments in Business for 2006 [cnn.com] .

I wonder what measures Skype has taken to mitigate such risk?

I wouldn't be holding my breath... (1)

i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) | about 4 years ago | (#33192250)

If Vonage's stock performance is any indicator, I wouldn't be holding my breath waiting to buy shares. Literally Vonage has done almost nothing but drop [google.com] since it's IPO and they actually have monthly revenues.

Competition Just About To Tighten (2, Interesting)

darkmeridian (119044) | about 4 years ago | (#33192490)

One factor behind the IPO might be cashing out while business is still good. An eight hundred pound gorilla is entering this ring. Google bought out Gizmo5 last year, ostensibly to beef up Google Voice. Rumors were that Google wanted a desktop VOIP program that would rival Skype. Recently, there has been reports of a leaked prototype app [worldtech24.com] . Last year, it was possible set up a hardware phone to work directly with Google Voice but that door was closed by Google. However, that opens the possibility of Google Voice being made available for hardware phones via an ATA. Google is dedicated to Google Voice because it's their door into the mobile phone/Android market and if they can datamine your phone calls using voice recognition, then they'd be making freaking gold for their search apps.

Hey, Skype, glad you could make it! (1)

PinchDuck (199974) | about 4 years ago | (#33199164)

Welcome to the party, dude! You're looking good. How's things? Can I get you a frosty beverage? Sure, we have some tasty micro-bre...what? Wait, what? Yeah, of course I knew that Fring was going to be here. I mean, come on, you know how our parties are: One big bash. You two have been coming for years, I'm not going to "dis-invite" anyone. Just chill, dude. It's a big enough house for everyone. Let me get you a beer...

Say, Fring, check it: Guess who just showed up. Yeah, and he was asking about you, too. Yeah, he said how good you looked. Look, I dunno, I can't get involved in this, I have a party to run, OK? I'm just saying what he said. That's all.

Duuuuuude, here's your brew! It is one hoppy-ass IPA. Whoa, there, dude, this is the good stuff, try to at least taste it. Say, I'm not saying anything, I mean, I just went to go get you a beer, but Fring seemed pretty happy that you showed up...

IPO = Initial Penis Offering (1)

CuteSteveJobs (1343851) | about 4 years ago | (#33202590)

Skype would do a lot better with their IPO if they did something to stop the porno spam. It's hard to recommend Skype so Grandma can talk to her grandkids when they are both going to have porno popups selling sex chat on her screen. This problem was reported to Skype years ago by many people but they've done bugger all to fix it. When I reported it they said turn off notifications... but then no one else could reach us. I pointed this out. They didn't care. They wouldn't take any action against the sex spammers either (despite giving them screen shots), I guess because they were making money off the sex chat. So we went from a few years ago when everyone was getting on Skype to today when our friends and family have deserted it.

So given the choice between a communications medium between family and friends, and a sex chat service, Skype went with the sex chat service and hoped families would put up with it. It's like Facebook looking the other way while hookers and drug pushers overrun their service. The good thing is the market is still wide open for a competitor to offer Internet phone services like Skype but do something to block spammers and scammers.

http://www.google.com/search?q=skype+porn+spam [google.com]

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