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back to article Cisco complains to the EU about Microsoft/Skype deal

Cisco has issued a formal complaint to the General Court of the European Union over Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype, saying it needs assurances that Redmond will play fair on standards. “The industry recognizes the need for ubiquitous unified communications interoperability, particularly between Microsoft/Skype and Cisco …

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Stop

So when

does Apple Facetime, Google et al, get the same request from Cisco? Interoperability does make complete sense, for example why can't I start a facetime with someone from my lovely Samsung Galaxy?

No there is no app for that.

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Boffin

Re: So when

Cosmo, isn't Google Talk built on SIP standards? I know I can hook Google Talk into Jabber on Asterisk easy. Not so much with Apple or MS products tho

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Re: Re: So when

What ? Of course Skype is proprietary. It's just a binary blob, even on linux.

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@Cosimiro as well as

Since Microsoft is notoriously known to f**k their competitors. Apple is also a famous rapist, it's Facetime does not endanger Cicso's business though, me thinks

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Fair Do's Cisco

I can see their point TBH. As soon as M$ got their grubby mitts on Skype, the Skype for Asterisk project at Digium went out the window (excuse the pun), We don't need a replay of "Browser wars" with video & voice chat (and IM).

If Google can buy and open source WebM, lets see if this is Microsofts equivalent. Buying and open sourcing Skype... not holding my breath...

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Considering that Skype shit canned the existing Asterisk PBX module (an option you had to pay for mind) within a week of the MS buyout being announced then any such "assurances" that MS might produce would be about as valid as any assurance made by Julia Gillard.

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Windows

money, money, money, money....

I bet that if MS would move some towards Cisco then everything will be water under the bridge, eh?

Amazing how people hold the Digium issue against MS suddenly. Yes; I cannot understand why you don't want a 3rd party to sell your intellectual property to its own customers while it got access to the source for /free/ in the first place. Especially put within the context that you (the current owner) are /also/ trying to make an income out of it.

Sure; whatever Digium gave away for free could be missed. Key issue here is that their main interest wasn't with that but with the selling stuff.

Realize that in the end businesses thrive on revenue and sales. NOT by good impressions alone.

Further more; I think its absurd to start wondering if MS is going to "kill" Skype. People asked the same question when MS took over Hotmail and look at it today; still available for free, still without demans to sign away your freedom ("we can use the e-mails global contents for ...") and still free of charge without getting invaded with a shitload of ads.

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Re: money, money, money, money....

You know, I always thought that Digium made you pay for the module because, you know, they had to pay the gatekeeper upstream.

Do you have any evidence that they kept all the licence fees to themselves as opposed to passing on the majority to Skype?

No? Thought not.

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Anonymous Coward

Pot meet kettle...

..So the Skinny protocol is free and open is it eh Cisco?

Seriously guys, before you mud sling you REALLY need to check your own house.

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I'm not sure I get what cisco are worried about

So here's a thing.. Skype right now is pretty much aimed at the consumer market. Cisco dont play in this area so much. Any idiot can tell you that MSFT bought Skype to enhance the Lync and Lync online capabilities to provide hosted PBX, PSTN breakout in the cloud type services. In order to do this they will need to build a SIP gateway to connect to the Lync platform. Job done. This suggests to me that Cisco are crapping themselves that they are majorly worried about some heavy competition in the UC market. I would be too. It's where they make a major part of their revenue.. but come on, Cisco bleating on about open standards.. hmm pot, kettle....

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Re: I'm not sure I get what cisco are worried about

You didn't read the article too well.

Microsoft pretty much has the IM in business sewn up with OC / Lync - integrating Skype into these products could have the potential to lock out Cisco from business video.

The only saving grace is that because Skype opens soooo many bloody tcp/udp ports most corporate FW's will not allow the traffic out so MS will have to make changes here.

In addition some companies will not use Lync but a SIP based product - I can see MS taking the current Asterisk Skype plug-in and commercialising it as a SIP-Skype gateway to sell as a server add-on and use this to say they are not stifling competition

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Anonymous Coward

Errr

How long until Skype starts crashing all the time and becomes unusable? MS have a habit of releasing crappy software...

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Re: Errr

It would be hard for MS to make the Windows skype software any more crappy than it already is as its already filled with unnecessary bloat, no doubt MS will try and tie it in with Windows live/MSN so making it even more bloated.

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Mushroom

Skype is just horrible. It's a lot more expensive than SIP, it's a lot slower and buggy than other VOIP programs, the video quality is ATROCIOUS! The software has no exit in it's file menu, only sign out. It's made by those nordics whose only real success so far was Kazaa. Anyone remember the huge fail that was Joost?

The sooner this pile of crap dies the better.

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FAIL

Forgot to mention how ridiculous the audio is: laggy and fuzzy. Lovely way to let people know you can't afford/ be bothered to use a professional VOIP solution.

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FAIL

Why does anyone use it?

I have never understood why anyone would saddle themselves with skype...

Think back a few years, when BT was the only game in town and you couldn't just buy a phone or modem, you had to get one that was BT approved or rent the phone from BT themselves.

Now look at skype, you can't just use any client with it, you have to use a skype approved client (and as someone else has noted, asterisk was recently taken off that list)... They also work very hard to clamp down on anyone trying to reverse engineer the protocol.

You have a lot of users, locked in to a wannabe monopoly telco, sure it might be free to make calls to other skype users now but how long will that last? The more people who depend on it for day to day communication, the more pain those users will feel moving to something else so a lot wouldn't move and just pay up.

The quality is highly variable, and often extremely bad... I have had people call me from skype before and could barely hear what they were saying.

Similarly the costs to make calls outside of the skype network is very high, and you only have one provider to choose from. Welcome back to the days of monopoly telcos.

There are many SIP providers out there who provide cheaper calls and far superior service, which can be used from any device that supports the SIP standard.

People have fought for years to not be locked in to a single provider, we now have 4 mobile operators to choose from, many areas have both virgin and bt, and bt are forced to offer their lines on a wholesale basis so third parties can resell them. Skype is a huge step back, and yet people don't seem to realise this and are fooled by the bait.

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Re: Why does anyone use it?

Easy one, it's sheepsourced in the same way as Faceb0rk, Tw@tter, et. al.

Person A wants to talk to person B. Person B already has Skhype, so person A gets it too. Baaa. When person C wants to talk to A and/or B, getting Skype is the easy answer. Baaaaaaa. Then D, E, F and G get involved. Baaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

Eventually you get to a critical mass where even the sensible people who know they're doing the wrong thing get Skype, purely 'cos everyone else has it. If you are techinally competant, installing Skype is a lot simpler than convincing the Skypesheep to migrate to SIP. Incidently, this is why the much promised Skype-to-SIP / SIP-to-Skype service will never appear in the core product. It can only grow while it's closed, forcing anyone who wants to join in to take their solution.

M$ bought 'em for a very obvious reason. Skype is the only candidate we've ever had for a Global telco monopoly and it's the people who are going to f***ing give the monopoly to them.......

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Go

"sheepsourced"

I nominate that word for QOTW!

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only QOTW?

Oxford or Collins should take note :)

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Interoperability?

Microsoft already have at least 3 products that can support video chat - and they are completely incompatible with each other!

You have two hopes getting them to play nice with another company's app. And Bob's dead.

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Different markets

I can see where Cisco is coming from but I'm not sure that they need be worried about impact to their business. Whilst Skype has attracted a large user base, most (like myself) use Skype for free personal use - whereas Cisco's unified communications offerings (like Webex) are aimed squarely at the corporate market and priced accordingly. MS has previously tried to enter the corporate UC market with little success and I doubt that Skype will make their offerings more attractive to corporate customers.

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Coat

Poetic Justice

Cisco's had this coming for a long time. Even when their hardware "supports" open standards it has always been done half-heatedly at best. Broken features, inexplicable failures, etc. OSPF anyone? Ever tried to set up SIP on a Cisco phone or VIOP gateway? I could go on. The fact that they are wining about open standards shows just how low they've sunk. I hate to say it, as I made my living working with their products for many years, but Cisco is getting what they deserve.

Now that I am in a position to make such decisions I won't even consider a product that requires vendor lock in. This has meant many a late night in the console configuring arcane scripts and building some really odd cron jobs, but the quality and reliability of services and products from companies that know you can easily switch to another provider/manufacturer has been well worth the effort.

Mines the one with the expired (and likely never to be renewed) CCNA in the pocket.

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Cisco may actually have a valid point

EU Documents http://ec.europa.eu/competition/elojade/isef/case_details.cfm?proc_code=2_M_6281

The 36-page EU decision, makes interesting reading.

Whilst the document uses the word 'interoperability' alot, it is mainly in the context of OS platforms the Skype client has been ported to, rather than to communications level interop with other clients. It can be inferred that the EU actually thinks not having interoperable products will be a good thing. Likewise no consideration has been given to ensuring openness of interfaces to enable/facilitate third-party development (I'm referring here to both OS interfaces that a third-party client would need to service to take advantage of functionality built into applications such as Office and the external communications interface).

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