The circle of life?
|May 15, 2006||Posted by Sujeet under Computers and Internet, Seriously?!|
SkypeOut just declared being free till the end of the year. So, lets break this down:
- Skype is free
- Skype’s got flavors for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and Pocket PC
- Skype can and does run on PDAs and ultraportables
- Most computing devices today extend a warm handshake with wireless connectivity
- Convential wisdom says – “Geeks use Skype, I use my cellphone“
- Skype retorts with – “We’ve got SkypeOut that bridges the gap between Skype and the traditional phone system“
Until recently, bridging that gap meant paying a very competitive rate for the ability to do so. However, with the freebie declaration that went out today, the gap just got welded shut, at least till the end of this year.
I’m going to reserve my war whoops for a while longer. It makes sense for Skype to make “local” / domestic calls free – most cellphone carriers offer a very, very good deal to do the same nowadays and everyone knows that its waaayy cooler to carry a nifty cellphone than a PDA that has to look for a wireless network and then use a headset and all that jazz to make a phone call.
Could it be free only till the end of the year because Skype wants to get us addicted and to have us considering changing our international phone carrier to SkypeOut?
And who’s to say that the likes of Comcast and AT&T won’t start “accidentally dropping” Skype packets and blocking Skype ports just to throw a wrench in the works?
And then there’s the obvious thought. With very portable computing devices like PDAs being able to make free phone calls using the ubiquitous free wireless network, did Skype just make cellphone service providers start wondering about their future?
Lets look at the historical timeline of the phone / Internet ‘thing’:
- Alexander Graham Bell invented the first working version of the telephone in 1876.
- Leonard Kleinrock published a paper about the idea of packet switching in 1961.
- Martin Cooper invented the cellphone in 1973.
- Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web in 1989
- The first dial-up ISP went online in 1989
Ergo, Lex still had dibs on being the guy who invented the phone system, that was used by the supercool Internet.
However, with the announcement Skype made today, things could’ve sorta changed in that department…
I imagine there’s a bulletin board somewhere “up there” that has a post saying “Alexander Graham Bell was totally 0wn3D today!” and that a flame war is just starting up…