Skype Linux Infectious?

June 23, 2004

in Skype Journal

Returning from my road trip I find Skype forums overflowing with with comments on the new Linux version. If you thought Mac users were zealots then the Linux response is even more fascinating. Check out Skype forums for more on Linux. Now Skype for Linux is an interesting marketing move. Skype is not open source, thus one can be quite cynical about the implications. Is this the way to make a splash with the open source crowd without giving them anything?

Today Skype released the first beta version of Skype for Linux. “We’ve had strong demand for a Linux version of Skype since debuting the Skype for Windows beta 10 months ago.” said Niklas Zennstrom, Skype

Here’s what I know from a quick search of the forums. The Linux version is like Skype Windows six months ago with poor voice and no conferencing. So it has a way to go.

Now here what I think makes it rather interesting. There are some PDA’s that are beginning to use Linux. Linux PDA’s have roughly a $15 operating system cost advantage versus Windows PocketPC’s. So Linux makes sense for a price competitive Asian focused cellular replacement strategy. Concurrently there are some new combination Wi-Fi / Cellular phones being developed. If SkypeFree enables simple presence, and Skype sound whenever you are in a hotspot it may become a lowcost value add to next generation cell-phones.

Another type of Infection?
There was a little rabble rousing on Skype security concerns on Om Malik’s blog yesterday (link below). Make up your own mind. I’ve written before that I don’t believe that Enterprises will want Skype P2P. Now that is not just a security concern, it is a management issue. Skype’s P2P network is based on supernodes and sharing. It’s frankly not the most efficient system for the enterprise bandwidth. Concurrently Skype’s architecture means everyone is logged into a large cloud. I don’t think IBM or Microsoft will want every employee listed or visible. Enterprises will require control of their clouds. That creates a different security environment and a different way of doing things.

wonder if we’ll be seeing this on henshall’s blog?
Comment by craig — 6/22/2004 @ 7:09 pm

Spreading FUD about Skype.
GigaOM is an interesting, opinionated weblog that I follow. However, I do have to comment on this entry about alleged security risk of installing Skype. Looks like pure FUD to me. The whole basis for accusing Skype of not being secure are those words … Trackback by Krzysztof Kowalczyk weblog – 6/22/2004 @ 7:41 pm

actually guys all of you make good points, and i think there is something there. i am trying to find out and hopefully by end of all this it will all be clearer – whether it is a risk or not. i think it is only going to be fair to talk to Skype and have them say what really is the story. Comment by Om – 6/23/2004 @ 6:42 am

Om Malik on Broadband » Skype, a security risk for corporate networks?

Previous post:

Next post: