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Microsoft’s Skype Acquisition

Posted by bryan on May 11, 2011 in E-Business, Mobile, Multimedia with 1 Comment


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SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MAY 10:  Microsoft CEO Ste...

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The web has been set ablaze over the past two and a half days since Steve Ballmer and gang announced their $8.5 Billion USD acquistion of Skype.

Many have fear the worst for the Luxembourg-based VoIP leader, ever since a slew of outages and downward slides via customer-infuriating changes to the much-loved Skype Interface. Some are calling this the final nail in the coffin for the company.

While I won’t go so far as to say I will never use Skype again, I have swiftly cancelled my Skype PRO subscription after the news, pending more indication that Microsoft is taking the company in a direction I approve of. Skype still has, to the best of my knowledge, the best free desktop screen-sharing tool of any of the VoIP or Videoconferencing solutions I’ve used.

So, I may be looking for alternatives over the next few months, but will also give ol’ “favorite to pick on” Microsoft the benefit of the doubt for at least making a forward-looking purchase of a truly innovative company for once.

So far, I can recommend the following alternatives:

  1. ooVoo the best free quick replacement for Skype, with Windows, Linux and Mac versions, you won’t get better video or chat quality without going through a paid service like Cisco’s WebX or Citrix’s GoToMeeting
    (Disclosure: a friend of mine helped build the software and worked with the company in its early stages, so I might be a little biased)
  2. QuteCom– (formerly OpenWengo phone) is a little different in that it has both a desktop client and a web-based version for fairly high-performance videoconferencing, its GPL license makes it an interesting alternative, especially for Linux users
  3. TokBox – Here is the future! TokBox provides a totally in-browser, web-based, seamlessly integrated Video Chat service; it doesn’t get much more simple or convenient for end-users than that. While TokBox is proprietary software, the APIs and Widgets they provide are open, and are getting better everyday (SEE DEMO BELOW).

 

DimDim was also great, but since the SalesForce acquisition it has closed its doors to free account holders (as of March 15th, 2011). What’s with all the acquisitions in the VoIP sector? You’d think some of the big IT and Internet Service companies are gearing up for an all-out war with the ISPs and Telecoms or something.