Their latest escapade involves pulling support for Asterisk. Never heard of it? Don't worry, you're not on your own.
Asterisk is the platform that the majority of voip servers run on. What does this mean for Skype users?
Well, you will still be able to Skype people, you will still be able to call telephones at over-inflated pay-as-you-go rates (substantially dearer than mine), you will still be able to send instant messages to each other. In fact, most of you will still be able to do all the stuff you've always done with Skye - even though you've never actually needed it because you've always had software on your PC that can do all that anyway. Skype simply jumped the lead by telling lies, by convincing people they were making free telephone calls that weren't actually telephone calls - they never actually used a telephone!. It is simply a messenger program just like Windows Live Messenger and Yahoo Messenger (and a multitude of others).
So how does the lack of Asterisk support affect you?
Well, there are many thousands of people out there who have been using VoIP for many years alongside their Skype setup then all of a sudden, Skype is VoIP compatible. Wahayyy, lets run everything through Skype says many of these. Lets keep everything under one umbrella and make things easy. And why not indeed. Making things easy saves money - of course it does.
Wrong! What these people forgot to remember is that we're dealing with Microsoft here. A little history lesson for newcomers to computing. Once upon a time, there was a little person called Xerox. Now Xerox designed an ingenious little gadget that we now call a mouse. Around the same time as Xerox designed this wonderful little gadget, there was another little man we now call Apple that "borrowed" Xeroxs' mouse for their equally ingenious device called a computer that had a Graphical User Interface (GUI). Then there was another little man called Microsoft who saw this GUI and "borrowed" it, called it Windows. He then paid computer manufacturers to put it on their computers. The rest is history.
So back to our little story. The nice man called Mr Microsoft decided, one day, to buy an idea called Skype, probably with the intention of creating something else because he didn't really need Skype. He only bought it because they got the jump on Mr Microsoft making his "wonderful" messenger program next to redundant and that really peed him off.
Mr Microsoft, now having taken away one source of competition, decides to go for the next; VoIP. How better to do this than make his offering compatible, entice all the VoIP/Skype users to buy in to his idea, get them to make all the investment in going Skype, then pull the plug on VoIP. Voila, a whole new captive audience.
I hadn't intended this to be a Microsoft bashing item but try as I might, I find it difficult for it not to be. If we look at the Microsoft track record in their wonderful operating system, we find a string of rubbish. Bring back DOS, nothing fancy, and it works for computers. Come to think of it, so does Unix. Which leads me into Linux (but that's a subject for another article).
All comments in this article are those of the writer and may contain unintentional errors. Some areas may be over-simplified for ease of reading. All registered names and trademarks acknowledged.