I used to love Skype– with the evangelical promoting kind of love that business owners dream about.
Times change. Owners change. Products change. Sometimes evangelical promotion turns to public disapproval.
My love affair with Skype started with it’s launch way back back in 2003. We used it to provide simple, secure messaging. It helped us work remotely and the usability was fantastic.
File transfers were simple, easy, and reliable.
The encrypted communication made sharing information more comfortable and it quickly replaced ICQ, AIM, MSN, and you name it as our default platform for communication. Speaking of communication, although Skype did have voice (and video), we almost never used it. It was truly a great instant message platform.
With VoIP and Skype, I envisioned greatness
At Astricon, maybe in 2008 or so, Skype announced Skype for Asterisk whereby you could integrate Skype with your open source PBX. I found this to be AMAZING. Using Skype as a soft phone client, or allowing your business to easily receive calls from any Skype user created endless possibilities in my brain.
I was excited. I waited… and waited… and waited… and waited… and then, at the NEXT Astricon, you could almost actually use it. For $60 bucks or so, you could create a single channel of communication between your PBX and Skype. As long as you had created a special Skype user and did a bunch of other things that were just cumbersome.
I was excited (still) but getting frustrating.
Then my memory started fading
Literally. I use a Mac (don’t hate the player, hate the game) and noticed that Skype was taking memory like I take food from a buffet — quickly, without hesitation, reason, or desire.
Strike one (and for me, this was a HUGE strike).
Strike two came in the form of questionable security. Kurt Sauer, the Chief Security Officer of Skype, gave an interview to ZDnet in 2009 and said, “We provide a safe communication option. I will not tell you whether we can listen or not.”
Further, the Mac client of Skype accesses your Address Book, giving Skype full access to your contacts (whether you allow it or not).
Strike three came when Microsoft bought Skype.
At the same time, whether coincidence or not, Skype killed their Asterisk integration.
I’m just not that into Skype
I’ve moved on.
For real security and encryption in messaging, there’s Kamailio. In an hour or so you can build your own Skype like service on the Kamailio platform (complete with secure messaging).
There’s a couple of people who I used to chat with only on Skype. Now, I use a novel method of communicating with them.
I pick up the phone.