There has been a pretty big buzz since yesterday when Digium announced that Asterisk will now include a Skype channel driver!
A first look this seems to be a very big announcement so lets look at what has changed and then if it is really earth shaking as some have described it to be.
Until now, Skype has been nothing more than a glorified IM program with a very good voice interface. Asterisk on the other hand is a tool box which enables almost any kind of communications application.
As many voip pundits have written frequently that while Skype while has a gigantic user base and voice quality better than most voip services they have missed the IP communications boat. Skype
could have taken the business world by a storm and introduced voice into mainstream business processes. Instead they stayed in the peer to peer IM world. Think for a minute, how many businesses do you know who actually use Skype for their mission critical applications??
So what has changed? Well now you can use Skype and connect it up to your business applications via the Asterisk toolbox. Skype is no longer stranded on the IM island. Skype has in one shot, integrated itself into the business world. If done right, that may be earth shaking. If done right.
Who is the winner here? Well in my mind – Skype is the clear winner. Asterisk users and developers do not gain much. Businesses already have softphones and click to call solutions, adding a Skype interface is just another interface, not a new paradigm to get excited about. Skype on the other hand in one smart move has broken into the business world. Now that is a smart move!
Want to discuss it more? Join Alec Saunders today on Calliflower. Alec will be hosting a discussion on this interesting subject.