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Microsoft To Can Skype API; Third-Party Products Will Not Work

timothy posted about a year ago | from the message-loud-and-clear dept.

Communications 330

Mark Gibbs writes "If you've recently fired up Skype you may have noticed a dialog box with a warning appear briefly (at least on OS X) then vanish. If you're fast enough to catch it you'll find that it's warning you that some application you're using that works with Skype will stop working in December, 2013. This applies to all sorts of software supporting headsets, cameras, ... you name it."

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330 comments

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Embrace, Extend, Extinguish (5, Funny)

Gothmolly (148874) | about a year ago | (#45307093)

Cue sad trombone sound for people who are outraged that MS would take Skype and change it.

What will we do ? (3, Funny)

perpenso (1613749) | about a year ago | (#45307193)

What will we do ? Its not like a few developers can get together and create a voice-over-IP service themselves. Oh ... wait a minute.

Re:What will we do ? (4, Interesting)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#45307433)

What will we do ? Its not like a few developers can get together and create a voice-over-IP service themselves. Oh ... wait a minute.

Right up until find yourself fighting a patent infringement lawsuit, I fear.

You really think Microsoft (and Skype before them) didn't make damned sure their patents were filed and recorded for this stuff? Or that they wouldn't be so over-broad as to encompass the entire concept?

I'm not so sure.

Re:What will we do ? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45307541)

We had such software back in late 90s as well during icq days, so makes no sense that they can sue you over something that has been around long before skype.

Re:What will we do ? (4, Funny)

binarylarry (1338699) | about a year ago | (#45307555)

uh oh!

Re:What will we do ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45307741)

Miss those days....

Anyone remember Palace chat?

Re:Embrace, Extend, Extinguish (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about a year ago | (#45307401)

Personally I think a big fat NO [nooooooooooooooo.com] felt more appropriate.

Re:Embrace, Extend, Extinguish (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45307581)

Except the sad trombone is actually well done. This 'Nooo' bullshit looks and sounds like some 8th grade faggot's web page project for junior high. It probably only got a C+ too.

Re:Embrace, Extend, Extinguish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45307809)

Personally I think a big fat NO [nooooooooooooooo.com] felt more appropriate.

I was thinking more like this, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhTv2kSBMhc

Re:Embrace, Extend, Extinguish (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45307963)

How exactly does that saying apply here? They didn't embrace it, they BOUGHT it. They didn't extend it, they're cutting it down. And killing it off entirely would piss off a LOT of people they can still wring money out of.

Re:Embrace, Extend, Extinguish (1)

mysidia (191772) | about a year ago | (#45308049)

Cue sad trombone sound for people who are outraged that MS would take Skype and change it.

Steve: I am altering the deal, pray I don't alter it any further.

And nothing of value was lost... (5, Funny)

ZorinLynx (31751) | about a year ago | (#45307095)

Who still uses Skype? There are better alternatives now, and a lot more open, too.

Seems Microsoft is shooting themselves in the foot... again. They're really good at this. Ya think they have special guns specifically designed to shoot downwards into feet? Weighted so that you can comfortably hold them as you fire? With special scopes to ensure you fire accurately and ammo custom-tailored for maximum damage to a foot-shapred target at close range?

I wouldn't be surprised. :)

Re:And nothing of value was lost... (5, Insightful)

ArbitraryName (3391191) | about a year ago | (#45307145)

Everyone uses Skype. Every other product in the field is a niche compared to Skype. Everyone knows the brand "Skype" and what it does. It's ubiquitous enough to be mentioned in print newspaper comics, which are basically only read by old people at this point. This is a common trap people in technology fall into. They feel like everyone must know about all these other options because they do. Skype is almost a household word at this point. Grandparents totter into Best Buy and ask the kid working there what they need to Skype with their granddaughter. That's my personal litmus test, when old people start asking for a technology.

Re:And nothing of value was lost... (4, Interesting)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#45307221)

Third world countries use skype.
Everybody else has an IPhone or Android that will let you voice chat or video chat anywhere in the world for nothing.

Skype is a household word as is Kleenex, and people want to get rid of both as soon as they have used it.

Skype is backdoored [randombit.net] and nobody but love struck teenagers use it any more.

Re:And nothing of value was lost... (4, Insightful)

postbigbang (761081) | about a year ago | (#45307501)

Just about everything you communicate with that runs on wires or electrical waves is backdoored.

But many more people than lovestruck teens use Skype. Closing up the API was inevitable. Pay4Play is called ecosystem, and ecosystem is revenue, and revenue is shareholder return on investment.

As Microsoft is a for-profit corporation, they will behave like one.

Re:And nothing of value was lost... (2)

Skiron (735617) | about a year ago | (#45307595)

Skype is a household word as is Kleenex, and people want to get rid of both as soon as they have used it.
You got that wrong. I don't know anyone that uses 'skype', nor anyone that talks about it. But I do know that people hoover, and use andrex to wipe their arse. Maybe MS think doing dirty and shitty work makes the name stick.

Re:And nothing of value was lost... (2)

v1 (525388) | about a year ago | (#45307233)

I'd agree with that. "skype" is becoming a verb at this point. "I'll skype you when I get home".

Too bad to see MS is gonna kill backward compatibility with hardware. I know a LOT of people still using skype vers 2 because of all the crap that happened to it recently. MS sure loves to increment product version numbers. Oooo look we moved the Close button, bump the version!

Re:And nothing of value was lost... (4, Interesting)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year ago | (#45307245)

> Everyone uses Skype. Every other product in the field is a niche compared to Skype.

I think you're right. And everyone (especially old people) at one point thought AOL was The Internet.

That's not a totally fair comparison because at one time Skype was, you know, good. But you know as well as I that this move by Microsoft will have the direct result of making alternatives more interesting, and a name will eventually replace Skype in our lexicon, just like certain names replaced Internet Explorer. (Nothing specific replaced AOL in our mindshare because everyone realized that a generic broadband connection gave them everything AOL had to offer and more, included with the price of the connection.)

Re:And nothing of value was lost... (3, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | about a year ago | (#45307263)

A brand name isn't worth anything anymore when you've killed the brand.

Re:And nothing of value was lost... (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45307459)

Right, I guess Microsoft also killed off Windows and Office as well.

Schmuck.

Re:And nothing of value was lost... (5, Interesting)

Dynedain (141758) | about a year ago | (#45307791)

A brand name isn't worth anything anymore when you've killed the brand.

Except to a lot of people, they don't realize it's a brand. To the non-tech savvy, there's no difference between a branded service (like Skype or Twitter) vs. an open service (like email). Notice the GP mentioned old people going into Best Buy and asking for the tools to "Skype" not the tools to "video chat on the web".

All they know is that there's some kind of thing you can do on computers, and they want to make sure they can do that thing with the people on the other end that are important to them. They don't know (or care about) the difference between a proprietary toolchain vs. an open one.

Re:And nothing of value was lost... (2)

Yomers (863527) | about a year ago | (#45307293)

Exactly. My 87 years old granddad use skype. Skype is the single non-opensource piece of software I have installed on my laptom, BTW all bunch of 32-bit compatibility libs are installed on my system only because of skype. I hate it, but there are no workarounds, I need it.

I hope something will force Microsoft to open Skype protocol.

Re:And nothing of value was lost... (2)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about a year ago | (#45308041)

What kind of decent VoIP alternatives are there that are cross platform?

I don't really know of any.

Re:And nothing of value was lost... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45307371)

Hey,

I am an old guy and I only use Skype because my children and grandchildren use it. Try as I may I can't get them to switch because, "All my friends use it!".

Back Off!

Re:And nothing of value was lost... (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about a year ago | (#45307409)

I will probably switch to Google Hangouts and SIP.

Re: And nothing of value was lost... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45307921)

Lol - who uses Google's social platform? NERRRRD!

Re:And nothing of value was lost... (1)

aaronb1138 (2035478) | about a year ago | (#45307953)

SIP is a bigger cock up than Skype. Good luck.

Never understand the need to blow wads of personal time (==money) on setting up and configuring monstrous kludges just get around a piece of software that a) just works, b) handles all the necessary functionality, and c) has no justifiable drawbacks for the usage scenario. And no, just because the NSA has a timestamp and contact name for every Skype call you make, it does not break (c) unless you are doing something wrong. It's just some scrap of metadata in a database that is about to get archived and never touched again soon enough.

Re:And nothing of value was lost... (5, Funny)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#45307725)

> Everyone uses Skype.

Microsoft's working on that!

Re:And nothing of value was lost... (2)

mysidia (191772) | about a year ago | (#45308025)

Microsoft's working on that!

And since Skype is pretty much the last major have-to-have content provider that doesn't work for IPv6-only users... all the better.

Re: And nothing of value was lost... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45307961)

FaceTime is a good competitor to Skype me thinks, Google should start something similar and Microsoft and Apple should start their own YouTubes while they can.

Re:And nothing of value was lost... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45307155)

For international calling, Skype seems to be a de facto standard - what alternatives (open or otherwise) are you referring to?

Re:And nothing of value was lost... (2)

byronne (47527) | about a year ago | (#45307169)

Curious about this too - what are you using instead, ZorinLynx?

Re:And nothing of value was lost... (2)

John Bokma (834313) | about a year ago | (#45307207)

banging the pipes in the basement to call mum, what else?

Re:And nothing of value was lost... (1)

murdocj (543661) | about a year ago | (#45307191)

Who doesn't use Skype?

It's free, easy to use, ubiquitous... only problem is if you are worried that "the cool kids" aren't using it.

Re:And nothing of value was lost... (4, Informative)

epyT-R (613989) | about a year ago | (#45307277)

It's also thoroughly backdoor'd, feature paywalled, and has shitty audio, even in 'hd' mode... It's also got a shitty GUI and ads.

Jitsi, despite its being written written in java, is a better deal. It's crypted, supports virtually every useful codec and does not require third party servers. Of course, you can use it with third parties if desired. Because of this, it can be configured to offer much better audio quality, which is a major issue with these things it seems. All people care about is the video I guess.

Re:And nothing of value was lost... (2)

Lord Crc (151920) | about a year ago | (#45307357)

Jitsi, despite its being written written in java, is a better deal.

Does it support calling landlines across the globe? That's the primary use I and my family have for Skype. I couldn't find anything immediate on the Jitsi page.

Re:And nothing of value was lost... (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about a year ago | (#45307431)

Doesn't your operator support SIP? There are all sorts of people offering SIP services around the globe and many of them support calling landlines...

Re:And nothing of value was lost... (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | about a year ago | (#45307573)

SIP is a bastard protocol that has problems with NAT.

Guess how many people use NAT with their internet connection? EVERYONE

Re:And nothing of value was lost... (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about a year ago | (#45307589)

Pragmatically true, however, it's nat that's the bastard.

Re:And nothing of value was lost... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45307993)

and in the real world, it doesn't matter WHO'S fault it if something doesn't work. All that actually matters is "It doesn't work"

Re:And nothing of value was lost... (4, Interesting)

dalias (1978986) | about a year ago | (#45307453)

If you use skype for calling telephones, you're getting ripped off horribly. Their rates are 3 to 10 times higher than good VoIP providers (personally, I recommend Diamondcard or Callcentric which both have good rates and service quality, but you can get even cheaper if you look around for lower-quality VoIP carriers), especially once you figure in the "connection fee" they added which often gets applied even when you call doesn't really go through. It's not as bad if you have a monthly plan (which waives the connection fees and has unlimited calling to selected countries) but unless your usage is really high you can still get better prices paying per-minute with other carriers (and, for some countries, you can even get cheaper unlimited plans with other carriers).

Re:And nothing of value was lost... (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about a year ago | (#45307539)

No, it doesn't. I suppose your family could install jitsi on their machines.. It depends I guess..

Re:And nothing of value was lost... (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about a year ago | (#45308023)

Why use it? I have a phone.
"Hey mom, get off the phone and get onto your dialup internet so you can hear a poor imitation of me using a phone."

Re:And nothing of value was lost... (2)

Dunbal (464142) | about a year ago | (#45307209)

Plus skype used to be cheap, it's now very expensive - more expensive than my telco. Fuck skype.

Re:And nothing of value was lost... (3, Informative)

slashdottedjoe (1448757) | about a year ago | (#45307509)

I pay like $36 a year for unlimited calls in the US. I have my own incoming number and I can call any phone in the US. That is not a bad deal at all!

I use it both in my home and my business. My telco demands $18/mo long distance to call my clients right across the state line which is like 5 miles from my home Skype is a great tool! Nobody even knows we are on skype.

My concern is I have a skype to phone adapter. I would eagerly embrace a change in the API if stand alone devices like some of the other VoIP providers have were available. I have seen little new skype hardware for use as a regular phone. I guess I need a new solution.

Microsoft can turn gold into sh-- better than any company I know!

Re:And nothing of value was lost... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45307927)

Callcentric offers you a free local number.
Google Voice gives you free US calls + free number.

Both are free, and you can link google voice to the Callcentric number.

Re:And nothing of value was lost... (4, Interesting)

FirstOne (193462) | about a year ago | (#45307593)

Agreed, I'm using up the last of my SKYPE balance, still use it for calling 800 numbers(which are still free), but that's about it.

Just got Google chat to phone via gmail working, which took some doing to get around the browser id check. Now, I can call phones in the USA for free, while skype charges $0.049 to connect and $0.023/min.

Re:And nothing of value was lost... (1)

damnbunni (1215350) | about a year ago | (#45307253)

Pretty much everyone uses Skype. I don't know anyone that uses anything else.

Well, there's one neckbeard around here who still has a SpeakFreely server, but that's about it.

The only 'alternatives' I know that get any use are TeamSpeak and similar services that people playing MMOs use. And even there, a lot of them have switched to Skype.

Re:And nothing of value was lost... (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#45307383)

Another exception is people using iPhones or Macs talking to others also using Apple devices. They tend to use Facetime.

They tend to have Skype as backup for talking to people that don't have Apple devices. But Facetime tends to give better quality streaming than Skype, so it's the first choice.

Re:And nothing of value was lost... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45307529)

Are Apple products really that popular in America? Never used one before, no one would pay $1000 for a phone over here.

Re:And nothing of value was lost... (1)

Chris Katko (2923353) | about a year ago | (#45307329)

No one uses Skype? Just like no one uses televisions. Yeah, I hate it. But it's the only thing everyone has.

Re:And nothing of value was lost... (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about a year ago | (#45307701)

Explains much about society, doesn't it?

Re:And nothing of value was lost... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45307355)

Gonna be a bit rude on this one.

You're a moron. Just because YOU take the time to know about things other than what's easy to use and popular doesn't mean everyone else does.

Re:And nothing of value was lost... (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about a year ago | (#45307411)

Its becoming tightly integrated with their other enterprise communication offerings. So *tons* of people will use it. Many wont even know it.

They don't want their internal stuff being used by others. I don't see a problem really.

Re:And nothing of value was lost... (4, Interesting)

vux984 (928602) | about a year ago | (#45307427)

Who still uses Skype? There are better alternatives now, and a lot more open, too.

Like what? I dislike skype and want to stop using it, and for the usage I do have, I -can- get the other people to switch.

However, switch to what is the question?

I need something that works x-platform: mac, pc, android, ios, and windows phone 8). Linux would be a bonus for me, but not a requirement. At least we don't need BB support.

It needs to do voice, group voice (at Least 5-6 people), IM chat, and group IM chat (unlimited people), and have contacts. Voice quality needs to be good, low latency, no echo, no breathing, no push-to-talk.

I'd like it to be open, but at the very least it HAS to be less privacy invasive than Skype. I'm not ditching skype for Google+ Hangouts or Facebook Messenger or something like that.

I'm actively looking for solutions but the VOIP stuff tends to be poor at the IM chat side, and everything else seems to suck at the voice or being cross platform enough.

Re:And nothing of value was lost... (1)

Deliveranc3 (629997) | about a year ago | (#45307633)

Have you tried Nimbuzz, it's European. It supported, ICQ, MSN, Skype, Facebook, GTALK(Jabber), IRC, (Love to see SIP support) and offered outgoing calls. It was pretty amazing, then the other players attacked it.

Still good, works Windows, Linux, and is available for Android (probably iPhone). Hope it works out for everyone.

It's sadly not open source ATMM.

Re:And nothing of value was lost... (0)

BitZtream (692029) | about a year ago | (#45308075)

A client is not a network. Car analogy:

GP:

They are tearing down the highway I use to get across country how will I do it now?

Your response:

By a Nissan or Ford instead!

Your response is the answer to an entirely different only loosely related question.

Re:And nothing of value was lost... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45307681)

However, switch to what is the question?

I quite like Jitsi [jitsi.org] myself.

From their website: "Jitsi (formerly SIP Communicator) is an audio/video and chat communicator that supports protocols such as SIP, XMPP/Jabber, AIM/ICQ, Windows Live, Yahoo! and many other useful features [jitsi.org] ."

Re:And nothing of value was lost... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45307727)

Pretty much everyone and their mother has a gmail account. You can talk 'on gmail' with them.

Re:And nothing of value was lost... (4, Informative)

epyT-R (613989) | about a year ago | (#45307819)

Well jitsi does voice in a variety of protocols, video (up to 720p) via h263 or h264, conference audio/video/im, and can work p2p/SIP, infrastructure SIP, or piggyback onto a variety of IM services. I don't know about android et al, but I imagine SIP clients for those platforms would work. It has no artificial limits on numbers of participants in conference calls.. It also crypts all communications with ZRTP. My only gripe with it is that the client GUI is written in java.

Honestly, audio quality is my primary pet peeve of skype. Whatever codec they use clobbers consonant sounds, even in 'hd' calls.. In contrast, I've gotten some nice high quality voice calls with jitsi.

Re:And nothing of value was lost... (1)

vux984 (928602) | about a year ago | (#45308043)

but I imagine SIP clients for those platforms would work

Then I need an SIP client that does contact management, online/offline/away status, im, group im, voice, and group voice in an integrated manner for each platform. If I'm on Jitsi in a group IM with 4 people what protocol is that going to be? XMPP/Jabber? Ok... and then if we decide to take it to voice? Any or all of the 4 of us could be at a desktop or on a tablet or smartphone -- so is there an xmpp/jabber client for each platform i listed that also has integrated sip voice support, that all works well? Jitsi covers the desktops... but doesn't do the mobiles...

I've looked at Jitsi in the past, but without a clear mobile solution for the group skype just makes more sense.

Honestly, audio quality is my primary pet peeve of skype.

Agreed its not perfect, but we don't get dropped calls much, or connected but with no audio. Additionally the latency and echo/noise haven't been problems for us either with skype.

Re:And nothing of value was lost... (2)

omtinez (3343547) | about a year ago | (#45307855)

Try Lync :)

Re:And nothing of value was lost... (3, Funny)

pitchpipe (708843) | about a year ago | (#45307957)

However, switch to what is the question?

I like OAKSTAR [wikipedia.org] .

I need something that works x-platform: mac, pc, android, ios, and windows phone 8). Linux would be a bonus for me, but not a requirement. At least we don't need BB support.

I'm pretty sure that it even supports BBs!

It needs to do voice, group voice (at Least 5-6 people), IM chat, and group IM chat (unlimited people), and have contacts. Voice quality needs to be good, low latency, no echo, no breathing, no push-to-talk.

Oh, it'll do all that alright, plus a whole lot more!

I'd like it to be open, but at the very least it HAS to be less privacy invasive than Skype. I'm not ditching skype for Google+ Hangouts or Facebook Messenger or something like that.

As far as open, it's not exactly secret anymore, but it's definitely less privacy invasive than Google+, etc. because those companies won't be able to get their hands on that data.

Re:And nothing of value was lost... (1)

MtHuurne (602934) | about a year ago | (#45307463)

Please tell me those alternatives, because I've been looking for them and couldn't find them.

I need something that has decent sound quality and echo cancellation, can easily traverse NAT and runs on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.

Re:And nothing of value was lost... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45307757)

when you make a comment like .. "Who still uses Skype? There are better alternatives now, and a lot more open, too" please say what the alternatives are otherwise you are just wasting our time..... and basically sounding off.....

so please what are the alternatives
wishes

Re:And nothing of value was lost... (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about a year ago | (#45308029)

Who still uses Skype? There are better alternatives now, and a lot more open, too.

Although I know of a few (Dolby Axon is the only name that comes to mind at the moment) - it really twerks me when people say stuff like this ^^^ without any specifics to back up the statement.

Because shooting oneself in the kneecap is an art (3, Insightful)

cosmin_c (3381765) | about a year ago | (#45307097)

Microsoft started excelling at this lately. The amount of popcorn needed will actually bring about a new boost in agriculture.

Why of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45307113)

Let's tighten our grip of this dying ship.

it doesn't stop there (1)

frovingslosh (582462) | about a year ago | (#45307161)

I recently got a new Lenovo Android tablet with Jellybean. I installed Skype from Google Play. Google said it was compatable. When I run it I don't have an option to video chat, even though the tablet does have a working front facing camera. At some points I see a camera icon that is marked as disabled, but it can't be enabled. I can try to do a test audio call to the Skype test number, the app shows that I'm connected and a timer starts counting, but I get back no audio. There is no way to know if my audio is getting to them.

So Skype on my Android tablet works pretty well, as long as you don't care about video or audio.

And Yes, other similar applications work just fine.

I'm inclined to think that my tablet is just fine, but Microsoft doesn't like competing in the tablet arena that they came late to.

Re:it doesn't stop there (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year ago | (#45307197)

I think you're right. Does this mean that Microsoft is trying to force people into Windows tablets by dangling Skype in front of them? Isn't that a little like saying "you must use Windows, we're the only people who have IE", back when, completely ignoring the fact that they've just supercharged the alternative browser market?

Market opportunity! (2)

jcr (53032) | about a year ago | (#45307163)

There's a reason why Skype caught on in the first place, and Microsoft has just pissed it away. I look forward to using whatever competitors emerge with secure, encrypted VOIP products.

-jcr

Re:Market opportunity! (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | about a year ago | (#45307235)

There's a reason why Skype caught on in the first place, and Microsoft has just pissed it away. I look forward to using whatever competitors emerge with secure, encrypted VOIP products.

-jcr

Like BBM? [blackberry.com]
The Android and iOS clients don't have the VOIP or Video yet but should get them in the next update.

Re:Market opportunity! (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about a year ago | (#45307283)

I'm sure letting the NSA listen in on all those phone calls garnered them a lot of good will. That alone has value for a company as large and as borderline (as in, on the wrong side of the border) anti-trust as Microsoft.

ok that's it then (1, Insightful)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year ago | (#45307175)

Skype is dead. Start looking for alternatives.

Re:ok that's it then (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45307309)

Skype is anything but dead. See ArbitraryName's comment.

There is a change.org petition http://www.change.org/en-CA/petitions/skype-microsoft-provide-continued-support-for-third-party-skype-utilities-that-have-become-mission-critical-to-skype-s-users,

If you feel you will be impacted (remember this is about the API's that support third party utilities, not Skype for Windows Desktop), pls comment and sign it.

Thanks

Not an Anonymous Coward.

Re:ok that's it then (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year ago | (#45307389)

Fair enough. It's worth a try, but one could make a case that Microsoft has a history of ignoring the wishes of their customers (and programmers, testers, product managers -- see "shooting one's self in the foot" in an earlier response) and doing whatever the hell Ballmer wants... or whomever is in charge now. But still, for completeness, it's worth doing.

Re:ok that's it then (1)

rsmith-mac (639075) | about a year ago | (#45307531)

Tell that to my contacts. They've all ditched AIM for Skype over the last 3 years, and like hell I'm giving up Trillian/Pidgin to get locked into a single program and a single network. The bad old days of walled networks were supposed to have ended 10 years ago.

Killll yourself. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45307231)

Please. Microsoft, just kill yourself already, stop ruining everything you touch.
Even Bill Gates left you, you are terrible.

Won't someone kill this now-sentient company out for blood?

Not that I care, fuck skype, worst program I have used in, well, ever actually.
I have never had a program BLUESCREEN as much as it has. Not even crash, straight up bluescreen.
Outside of skype, I can COUNT every single BSOD I have had on 2 hands. From the mid 90s. And 4 of those were me finding a Flash / Firefox transparency bug where I set FF window transparent with Flash in a tab and it crashed. Sent details to both of them, it was fixed within a few months, done, sorted, it wasn't even high priority either, something so niche and trivial for someone to set an entire window transparent.
Skype Devs? "oh what's that, the frame isn't loaded? LOL DRAW ANYWAY LET SOMEONE ELSE DEAL WITH IT, ERROR WHO IS THAT GUY, TELL HIM HE IS FIRED."
You can even SEE it failing to draw the video section of chats as well. The rest of the interface is fine, but the video section they forced on everyone from Skype5 onwards just occasionally, at random in some new call instance, just decides NOPE and doesn't load, then within like 1.5-3 seconds, BSOD.
Hey, Skype Devs, it is called Try Catch, USE IT.
In fact, it still shouldn't even really crash at all, these days you need to deliberately write shitty code in order to crash an OS, like, really seriously bad code. They are thaaaaat bad.

Nothing of value lost, etc.
And to think I was hoping Skype devs would have fixed this error, this whole skype thing sounds kinda neat, they sound smart and dece... oh boy was I wrong.

He he he (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45307267)

Ha Ha!

This is old news isn't it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45307285)

This was announced back in July, I think.

Using Skype to boost Windows Phone? (3, Interesting)

substance2003 (665358) | about a year ago | (#45307307)

Okay. So I get they are cutting support to many webcams and headsets on the desktop and competing platforms like OS X as stated in the article and from Android based on the comments posted here.

Crazy theory here. Could they be trying to focus Skype for use with their Windows Phone to try to give people a compelling reason to switch over to their mobile OS?

Thoughts?

Re:Using Skype to boost Windows Phone? (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about a year ago | (#45307399)

Crazy theory here. Could they be trying to focus Skype for use with their Windows Phone to try to give people a compelling reason to switch over to their mobile OS?

Sure looks like it. And it will probably work just as well as google killing off all of their services that remotely compete with g+.

Re:Using Skype to boost Windows Phone? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about a year ago | (#45307461)

Office Communicator.

Re:Using Skype to boost Windows Phone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45308035)

That might give users a reason to switch over to Windows Phone, but I think it will send the carriers into a tizzy, to say the least, because you won't be using "minutes."

Re:Using Skype to boost Windows Phone? (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about a year ago | (#45308051)

Yes, people switch to shitty quality over compressed laggy Skype calls on their mobile phone instead of ... just using the damn phone.

Not saying that it doesn't happen A LOT ... but its still fucking stupid.

no good alternative (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45307343)

I've tried things like ekiga and jitsi, both are confusing to use, compared to skype.
Hopefully tox will be great.

Re:no good alternative (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about a year ago | (#45307447)

Google Hangouts. At least for video conferencing. For voice any decent SIP client will do.

So long amazon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45307379)

Probably won't buy anything on there again.

Only MS (1)

NinjaNinjaNinja (2884867) | about a year ago | (#45307403)

Only Microsoft could spend millions buying a company and the after monetising the product they drive away all the customers buy making it completely incompatible.

Then they wonder why it doesn't make any money.

Well done Microsoft, those own goals will surely win the game.

Not Dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45307405)

You'll just need to buy and Xbox One to use the new version.

Beginning of the end (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45307441)

Whelp I guess this is the beginning of the end for Skype, time to find alternatives.

Stallman is right (5, Insightful)

Required Snark (1702878) | about a year ago | (#45307465)

Any proprietary software is potentially a trap. You get to use it as long as the owners let you, and they can change their mind at any time.

I know it's fashionable to knock Stallman here on Slashdot (including personal attacks about how he dresses), but he has been consistently right over a long period of time about the pitfalls of closed source.

In this case MS is clearly locking out 3rd party apps, and no one really knows why.

It's not just MS. Google does the same thing. Someone pointed out that the typically lifetime of most free Google apps is 4 years. Even when there the apps are not discontinued, the terms of service are often changed. Look at original Gmail vs. Gmail+. Many people, including myself, would not have become dependent on Gmail if they had known what would happen to it.

So when Stallman is being critical, pay attention. He's likely to be right.

Re:Stallman is right (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45307611)

It's not that RMS is wrong, there certainly are pitfalls and risks with closed source, however there are also pitfalls with open source, not to mention huge gaps in available tools, documentation, and support.

I tend to prefer an open source solution over a closed one, however there are reasons everything isn't open source yet and probably never will be.

Re:Stallman is right (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45307837)

3rd party tools to use skype but add encryption...

Like pidgin's "Off the record" or the even better one-time-pad version "Pidgin-paranoia"

The whole point of forcing people to use skype clients is to make sure they all use the backdoored code. Then they said, well you have to use our client, but we'll let your client use scripting to work with ours....

So we implemented encryption in our 3rd party clients, and now they just wont have any of that.

Re:Stallman is right (2)

BitZtream (692029) | about a year ago | (#45307951)

Look at original Gmail vs. Gmail+. Many people, including myself, would not have become dependent on Gmail if they had known what would happen to it.

Uhm, enable IMAP if you haven't already and move your mail to a new provider, forward the email to that provider.

Its not hard, what exactly are you whining about? That they didn't stay the same until they become irrelevant and then shutdown cause I'm pretty sure you'd bitch about that as well. If you wanted a static non-changing client, you were pretty stupid for using webmail in the first place.

Horrible mess (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45307495)

The Skype API was a horrible mess, I bet at Microsoft they did not want to touch it, just let it die.

Re:Horrible mess (1)

sk999 (846068) | about a year ago | (#45307937)

The SKYPE API was a HORRIBLE MESS, I bet at Microsoft they did not want to touch it, just let it die.

Good point. MS would never create anything so ... oh wait.

http://www.gamedev.net/topic/289219-api-basics/ [gamedev.net]

"The WINDOWS API is technically referred to as Win32, and is a HORRIBLE MESS ..."

Never mind, move along, nothing to see ...

In Soviet Russia your TV watches YOU! (1)

Thor Ablestar (321949) | about a year ago | (#45308003)

Really, I am GLAD that Microsoft makes problems for a Skype community. Reason is that Skype is as compromised as any other existing VoIP protocol now, and in post-Snowden era it became crystal clear.

I don't worry about crypto phone per se. With modern crypto protocols creation of a VoIP utility that encrypts the conversation is trivial. Problem is a collection of metadata by 3-letter agencies about the calls which leads to discovery of your contacts and torturing your secrets out of them. You name it "rubberhose cryptoanalysis", we Russians prefer the term "thermorectal cryptoanalysis" meaning a hot soldering iron in subject's anus.

I don't know any such program. There are TOR and I2P messengers but no such VoIP programs. maybe YOU know something about them?

If such a program emerges AND Skype is being undermined by Microsoft itself the transition to the new program will be fast enough.

Boycott Skype (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45308013)

This would be a good time to begin your boycott of it than.
Since skype started off as a way to communicate securely with loved ones until Microsoft got their hands on it. Upgraded it a version got rid of the p2p
servers; centralized it and backdoored the encryption.

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