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02 September 2009, 10:26

Skype buyout wakes up open source vendors

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In the wake of a large part of Skype being sold by eBay to private investors, open source companies are hoping to capitalise on a, hopefully, reinvigorated Skype to offer interoperability with the proprietary phone platform.

Digium, the developer of Asterisk, has announced the production version Skype for Asterisk (SfA) is now available, but, unlike the Asterisk PBX software, this is a pay for add-on channel driver, priced at a one-off payment of $66 for each simultaneous Skype connection that SfA enables. Digium's expectation is that customers will be prepared to take that licensing cost and offset it against the low cost calls of Skype, saving on their phone bills overall. Skype and Digium have cooperated in the development of the SfA which they note is "not a proxy solution".

Meanwhile, the developers of FreeSWITCH, an alternative VoIP solution, have been re-emphasising that FreeSWITCH already supports Skype in an update released in August, albeit through a proxy mechanism which uses the Skype client software on Windows and Linux to connect to the Skype network. Whether the new ownership of Skype will see the company become more interoperable with open source in general has yet to be determined.

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