There was lots of lament and thrashing when Skype announced the forthcoming end to the Skype Extras program for distributing Skype software partners offerings. By the end of August, 2010 the Skype Extras item in the Skype for Windows client will go away. But does that mean the end for developing products and services that use the Skype API’s? Certainly three of Skype’s software partners do not think so; they each have recently launched either an upgrade or a new offering:
Scendix has released Pamela version 4.6, continuing the enhancement of its popular utility for managing, archiving and recording Skype calls. Pamela also lets you have some fun with its Rich Mood Message editor and Emotions player. But most importantly Version 4.6 provides the long sought recording of Skype video calls.
InnerPass last week launched version 2.0 of its Skype-enhanced document management offering. A new client, which, in addition to incorporating traditional document management features such as version management, also allows you to manage all your Skype activities – web collaboration with conference calling that also includes multi-party desktop sharing.
And yesterday, Netralia, whose Skylook and Call Burner offerings have built significant user bases since their 2005 and 2007 launches respectively, have just announced the forthcoming launch of Vodburner, “the first product on the market to create video podcasts”.
Netralia CEO Jeremy Hague, in the press release linked above, has nicely summarized the reality behind what is currently available to support development of applications that incorporate Skype:
“We are proud to announce the upcoming launch of VodBurner today, which comes at an interesting time for the Skype Developer community, given the recent announcement regarding the Extras programme.”
“I think Skype’s announcement has caught a lot of people off guard, and there may have been some overreaction in some of the media comments. It is important to remember that the programme is only being closed in its current form. This does not mean Skype is removing support for developer apps.”
“Skype has supported developers since 2004, with the release of the Skype Public API. This support is continuing.”
“Extras Manager, a separate initiative, was introduced in early 2007. The idea was great – provide new and existing apps with an advertising platform inside the Skype client, and a payment platform integrated with Skype Credits.”
“However, the implementation was lacking. As you can’t make a silk purse from a sow’s ear, we believe Skype has made the right choice to curtail this programme. We are hopeful that Skype will find another way to execute on the promise of some of the great ideas of the Extras Manager dept, but providers of Skype apps do not need to rely on this.”
“What we are about is providing great applications that make use of Skype’s technology to benefit people, who will hopefully go on to be our customers. This was our approach before Extras Manager was first thought of, and will continue to be our approach regardless of the approach Skype takes in the future.”
The important point at this time is to emphasize that developers, who make the effort to use the API’s, can be successful and continue to dedicate resources to the development of new or upgraded products.
- They have all built significant user bases; InnerPass has has over 1.5 million downloads since its version 1.0 launch in January 2009.
- They have found new ways to work with Skype as a conversation tool.
- They have all developed products which contribute to making Skype disruptive about business.
Two previous posts on this subject:
And Scendix comments on the end of Skype Extras in their PamNews blog:
Summaries and reviews of these new offerings will follow over the next two weeks.
Question: will we learn any more about Skype’s developer and/or business programs at next week’s eComm Europe? Nobody’s saying but … there is a keynote speaker from Skype, eComm Europe’s headline sponsor.