1303 posts • joined 19 Jun 2009
It's a little disturbing that no one seems interested in looking closer at the claims, the trial record or perform any analysis of the claims from either side. The idea that a lay jury could sensibly judge a patent consisting of this level of math without error (or more likely outright guessing) is a little hard to swallow.
Assuming Marvell aren't just lying about not using the patented algorithm, one disturbing possibility is CMU just enforced an outrageously wide patent on a basic principle, far beyond what patents are supposed to allow. But if no-one checks and Marvell do the expedient thing of settling we'll never know.
unreported detail of the SEP injunction ruling
Details are now emerging that the FTC *did not* forbid seeking injunctions on Googles standards essential patents. What they actually did was require a 6months negotiation window *before* seeking injunctions. Paradoxically that may actually be massively helpful to Google. I can understand why the usual sources of PR sent to the Reg might not want to highlight this...
One problem with FRAND licensing is it rarely sets time limits on the negotiation or acquisition of licenses. That makes companies cautious about going to court because courts tend to refuse to deal with cases till far more than 6months of failed negotiation has passed. Motorola waited several years before even asking for injunctions against Apple for example.
Companies (and Google specifically) now have a good argument that 6 months is an appropriate delay. They can now initiate negotiations and if, like Apple, the other side stonewalls for 6 months they have a much improved chance of getting an injunction quickly. Getting it while the products are still selling. Getting it years quicker.
The other aspect is that injunctions on FRAND patents where the other side showed willingness and good faith negotiation were already being consistently denied by the courts, the FTC changed nothing there. However many observers believe some higher US courts are swinging alarmingly to outright banning these injunctions even with bad faith from potential licensees, this FTC decision might just bring them back to a more balanced position.
Bear in mind this was kicked off by Motorola finally losing patience with Apple over negotiating a FRAND rate. After several years. Apple's refusal to negotiate means this FTC ruling doesn't apply. The licence manoeuvres that led to Apple needing a licence are a different issue that the FTC doesn't seem interested in.
We remain hopeful that these agencies will stick to their established procedures
Fairsearch (AKA Microsoft,Oracle and crapsearch panderers) real problem is the FTC *did stick to their established procedures*. Including the usual political zeal to find a big case to further individual careers, an unofficial but always present feature of these agencies.
The FTC correctly noticed that without evidence of harm to *consumers* there was no cause for action. They also correctly noted and made clear in the statement that they'd noticed the complainants were making it up for self serving reasons. Microsoft's (AKA Fairsearch) real problem is that the FTC followed their procedures correctly, followed the law correctly and it didn't come up with the answer they wanted.
Fairsearch/MS have had 2 years to tell lies non-stop, successfully convinced a depressing number of commentators to side with their self serving bleats but failed to convince the people that actually matter - the regulators and THE SEARCHING PUBLIC. It's now time for them to STFU. Compete with your products not by subverting the law and the facts.
Almunia faces the same problem the FTC did, he's constrained by law. Seems unlikely this particular test of acceptability would get past any judge or that Google would volunteer rather than go to court.
It's posturing, as part of an overall package designed to coerce, that seems doomed to get cut from whatever package Google does concede. Though EU competition law is harsher than US and gives more rights to competitors it's not the 'get out of actually competing' card Fairsearch want it to be. The EU will probably manage to coerce more biting changes than the US managed but they still won't magically improve their whiny competitors failing business's.
Re: Confusing aspects of quotations in story
Nope, it's another Vulture journo too lazy to make it clear that's a direct quote from the blog post.
If anything that's actually worse because I'm not convinced it's just laziness that allowed that perceived bias into what's little more than a repost of the Microsoft propaganda PR release. No analysis, no critical thinking, no proper disclosure.
The actual blog post tells a simpler story.
1: Google won't give MS more access to metadata than they give anyone else. Good luck convincing anyone else that's a winning argument.
2: Google won't build a YouTube app for WP. I believe that's covered by the 'we won't build any apps till people start using it' and that statement is fully compatible with claiming someone higher up blocked YouTube support. Just doesn't sound so prejudicial put that way. Again, good luck forcing Google to waste resources supporting a minority platform with a far from essential service.
Re: Huh? Squash competition by banning old outdated models?
You Apply fanbois need to check in with HQ more often. You seem to have missed Apples attempt to add Android JellyBean to the Samsung case, which would have allowed bans on all new Samsung devices if allowed. Or the newer devices they did manage to get added.
They did indeed only have bans on older devices but were trying for much, much more. Now they have nothing and little chance of ever getting a US ban again.
Re: Patent angle
What makes you think that's not happening? As time passes Apple is gradually getting it's patents ruled invalid and in parallel established a record of losing in every court but this one.
Samsung just bought themselves 9-36months injunction free delay waiting on their appeal. Delay while Apples weapons gets taken slowly apart by all the others they threatened. Also not well reported here, the design patents were criticised by Koh in the ruling and their weakness is part of why there are no injunctions. Fighting Samsung has damaged Apples IP claims quite well already.
Re: abdication of making a decision
Simon Harris: But ... Isn't trying to get people to talk to each other rather than fight it out a good thing?
That only works if negotiating benefits both sides. It doesn't work here because Apple thought they could get injunctions to stick and never intended negotiating over that. If Samsung couldn't negotiate that away there was little point them talking either.
What Koh persistently refused to accept was Apples plain language: that they weren't interested in licensing, just in removing Samsung from their market. There was never any talk to be had and Koh must have known that.
Re: abdication of making a decision
*Koh* has refused them a new trial. *Koh* has refused Apple an injunction. It's a pattern, Koh doesn't seem to like taking any action and seems to have put more effort into coercing Apple&Samsung into discussion than anything else. Predictable on the basis this was always going to appeal but still lazy and dishonest.
Now the appeal starts. That's the story here, a couple of years waiting on an appeal *with no Apple injunctions in force*. Apple must be spitting teeth right now, the win was the injunctions, to squash competition by lawsuit. Today's decision means Apple will struggle to get another injunction in an American court.
Meanwhile Hogan's misbehaviour is successfully in the record for the appeal, as are the errors in the jury decision. For Samsung this is nowhere near over, for Apple being denied injunctions mean it is all but over.
One prediction: FairSearch will not find Google offer acceptable. Whatever that offer is.
The members either directly want Google's search quality hobbled (hello Microsoft) *or* need it hobbled so their own crappy quality doesn't 'unfairly' affect their search rank. Everything else is just the wrapping they need to attract regulatory attention and mostly fiction.
Quite why the losers here think they can SEO their rank better than the millions of others trying the same is a mystery, it would be easier just improving their own products!
The biggest problem I find with Google is how badly they're losing the war against SEO. It's getting near impossible to craft search terms that find a good result on the 1st page. They're even having trouble keeping link farms out of the results. Letting Fairsearches smaller members fight that without Googles algorithms would be an appropriate result ;)
lining up with? Microsoft or Google?
"This would lead to the embarrassing prospect of the Commission lining up in the dock alongside the US corporation"
The only choice is which US giant corporation they're seen 'lining up' with, Google or Microsoft. They might be wise to avoid being seen supporting either of them, or the botton feeders with crappy products they can't sell on their merits.
"hardly inconvenience the big operator"
If it doesn't inconvenience the large sharks feeding/ripping off artists what's the point?
...because there's a limit to what pressure even the US government can bring if the evidence isn't there. However much they'd like to help out Googles competition, without a thick enough veneer of consumer harm it can't survive legal challenge... and the self serving complaints seen so far haven't done well showing consumers are being harmed at all.
In the case of Fairsearch consumers are arguably being helped by keeping the bottom feeders out of search results!
I look forward to finding out how little Google concedes to let the FTC save face.
"What is so fking difficult?"
...having 3 windows open at the same time? Yes, my desktop does ALWAYS have at least 3 open, usually more. And more on the 2nd screen.
I'm also a little puzzled about this 'hit the Win key, type a few letters' thing: I can type the entire 'MediaPortalFS1' shortcut name (to open it Fullscreen on screen1) and search never finds the shortcut... also can't understand why pinning them to the taskbar but getting completely identical icons makes any sense.
...or why ejecting a removable drive should close the explorer window, among many other annoying little errors in the UI.
If people want to complain about this they should be SCREAMING at the corrupt and easily corruptible politicians that set the rules. Better still, stop voting for the bent bastards.
who knows what would happen if they hire experienced programmers?
Bloody hell, if applying the basic 'we can do them in our sleep' level optimisations is worth blogging about I begin to understand why they thought HTML5 was the way to go - presumably they though an optimised HTML5 stack would easily outperform the shit their Java beginners were churning out!
How FB survives is beyond my understanding.
Pretty certain "3" were undercutting that 2-3 years ago on PAYG - 0.5p/Mb on one deal, more typically 1p/Mb - though I never used more than they threw in free with each topup anyway. Today giffgaff only want £5 for that 500Mb on prepay (and allow tethering!).
That German tariff seems very average compared to even mainstream UK contracts. I tend to assume heavy data users fight through the dense thicket of deliberately confusing tariffs to find the cheap ones.
Re: Choice is good
The only threat to worry about is some idiot engineer copying the UI mistakes *from* Windows/WinPhone into Android or IOS.
Microsoft already took inspiration from the grossly over simplified look&feel of Android ICS, then maxed it out as Metro for maximum ugliness, minimum visual clues for the hapless user. It's a visual styling race to the bottom with no winners :(
Re: Same old, same old...
It's also a very convenient way to point smartphone users at app (or other) downloads from a PC browser.
The QR reader I use shows the decoded data and waits for the user to choose what to do with it. In theory safer than a traditional hyperlink because you always see the unobfuscated content before accepting it, something you actively need to check with a hyperlink.
You still need some way of assessing the trustworthiness of the exposed link but that's true for any link. Seeing a sticker slapped on a poster is a pretty big clue not to trust it though.
If you throw a ball at a wall
"If you throw a ball at a wall does it come to a dead stop? No, it bounces back."
Now go read the bounceback patent... your ball would have to penetrate the wall (the overshoot) then bounce back to match it.
An implementation matching a ball bouncing of a real world wall would squash horizontally as it hit the buffer then expand back. It would work perfectly well but cost more in graphic processing, not something todays devices would have a problem with but not necessarily an obvious option most would settle for.
The test of obviousness is not that it's an obvious idea in hindsight. Obviousness is: if faced with the same problem to solve how easily would other people have discovered the same solution.
The answer to 'why wasn't it done before' is sometimes simply that it didn't need to be done before. In this case in a world of scrollbars and sluggish responses there was no need for a redundant end-of-scroll effect. The most obvious idea in the world is worthless without a problem to apply it to.
What MS should have done is standardise on Java
I suppose Oracle might be willing to give them a new Java licence, Sun stripped the 1st one when MS applied their usual 'it only works properly on Windows' strategy. Just can't see MS wanting to backtrack to Java OR make cross platform dev easy - because it works both ways after all, allowing ports out from Windows.
They've used DirectX as a tool to lock in developers, going as far as dropping OpenGL on Windows. Ceding control is just not the MS way.
The last thing you want on an OLED screen is vast swathes of solid *bright* colour, though pure R,G or B at least take the power drain back down to LCD levels. Suddenly that huge empty black bar WP7 had on the home screen looks useful ;)
Not an impressive price either, you just don't get as much hardware for your cash with this budget phone.
How is it different from the 'GameFuel' traffic shaping on my ancient DGL-4300 router (launched 2006 I believe)?
HTPC use: glitches with BDA tuners
I've had a frustrating time trying to get Win8 Pro 64bit to deal with my Freeview tuners.
Drivers are the 1st problem, I just gave up trying to get working drivers for the old VP3020 and retired it. Sad because it was more reliable than any of the others under XP. My 7010ix hex tuner crashes Win8/4Gb+ RAM with the supplied drivers. Took over a week finding working ones, drivers 3 years younger than MS have in their repository!
Anyway, eventually MediaPortal fired up, recognised all the cards. And every bloody recording has glitches at exactly the same time into each recording. It ain't the tuners, they work perfectly on the same box in XP32. There's something rotten in the BDA system or maybe more widely in the driver system. On top of the consistent dropouts there are more errors overall than when I boot back into XP.
I suggest anyone thinking of building a PVR on Win8 tests carefully or considers some other, proven platform. I can't speak for whether this is a 64bit problem or Win8 itself but driver support is poor and 64bit driver certification seems to mean nothing. Right now I'm checking for enough spare parts to build a dedicated PVR on either Linux or XP.
And what you're missing is that Ultrabooks aren't selling and Intel themselves believe one reason is buyers want *bigger* screens than the 12"-13" that was common last year.
In reality if you want PC performance in a small package, that's expensive to deliver. If you want the full PC experience you simply can't do it in this small a package. Surface Pro is expensive because it's hit by the same physical constraints Intel were in creating Ultrabooks. To incur those costs and head away from the actual form factor business buyers demand is misguided at best.
If MS are really targeting the Ubook market they've misjudged the product badly. In fact they just can't make it any cheaper and can't afford to make it look obviously different to Surface RT or the whole Win8 on phone,tablet,notebook & desktop sales pitch falls apart.
...but they really are targeting iPad in business, they absolutely need the below useful sizing that demands and they already have the Windows monopoly on real Ultrabooks anyway.
Re: Poor sales?
Seems like a 100% repeat of the WP7 sales fiasco. A year on I've still not seen a WP7 phone in the flesh and couldn't find one to test . If any shops had them they were kept in the backroom well out of sight.
So who will get the blame this time? Will it be poor sales staff - the favoured MS fanbois scapegoat last time. Will it be the lukewarm to damning comments from the few that have used one be the problem. MS kept Surface out of reviewer hands before launch for a reason...
One thing's sure - the reality that channel buyers don't want to stock them and the general public have no desire to buy the Microsoft brand will be denied vigorously.
Re: Corporate bullshit
I wonder how many of those $14.99 upgrades were paid for by shops and manufacturers - Staples and HP have both offered refunds of the fee on Win7 hardware since August, must be many others doing the same.
$14.99 is so cheap anyway I'm sure many just bought with no immediate intention of installing, just to lock in the price. It wouldn't surprise me if a lot of XP users did the same to lock the $39.99 upgrade even if they intend to carry on using XP till a few service packs arrive. Compared to the upgrade price for Win7 and the growing evidence Win8 can be bludgeoned into a passable desktop experience it's a tempting gamble.
MS are gambling future app store sales will more than cover the lowered license income from these cheap upgrades. Having used the POS since launch it's hard to see where they spent much money anyway, ripping out code is pretty cheap, especially when done with so little care. They probably cover costs at $15 anyway!
not one of those usage stats means what they think
The start screen I see for less than a second every reboot (and Win8 is so buggy I've rebooted a lot).
The start screen has indeed acquired a lot of new tiles. Every time I install a desktop app a few more get added to the growing mess... all without my interacting with that screen at all! (Actually, that's a lie, I did take the time to disable every live tile after noticing they were sucking data even though I never use or even have them visible).
I don't know if installing Media Centre counts towards their app count but it wouldn't surprise me if they're bending the stats right now. Hell, with the Media Centre activating Win8 hack maybe they're boosting the Win8 numbers with it as well ;)
So I've had a large number of start screen 'page views', a large number of tiles added and I believe I got to grips with the charmless bar on day 1 because it was unavoidable before Classic Desktop bypassed Metro for me.
I think I even agreed to let Microsoft grab usage stats. Agreed because I knew how much they wouldn't want to see my desktop only usage ;)
What's heartening is 85% making the effort to avoid Metro.
Re: the jump from winXP to win8 was much less painful than expected
Unless, like me, you're jumping XP 32bit -> Win8 64bit and the $39.99 download only gives you a 32bit installer... also not entirely sure how losing ALL your configuration counts as 'less painful' ;)
Have to admit my completely virgin Win8 64bit does boot faster than the crusty, decade old XP 32bit install it dual boots the same hardware.
A 45s vs 60s difference. And just like XP it's actually ready to accept *and respond to* input a fair while after that.
Frankly I expected more improvement just from jumping 32-64bit and the clean file system advantage. Like previous smoke and mirrors it feels like it starts much faster but it's really just putting the screens up while it finishes loading.
What does Win8 bring over Win7? Metro, barely noticeable under the hood improvements and loss of desktop features - so basically just Metro.
Metro is a consumption interface, the software equivalent of a shiny new peripheral added to a gaming device. The comparison seems very appropriate.
Re: 5 tiles
...but you can't move (scroll) the menu that way. That's counter intuitive by itself but as you point out it's also inconsistent!
Re: 5 tiles
Interesting... I'm running at 2048x1152 and get 6 rows. Amazing the difference 72pix makes ;)
Still an unusable mess though. And I still can't believe the obvious 'press mouse button, drag' doesn't work on the start monstrosity. It's as if they sat down and brainstormed how to force people off their mice.
"details and so on (I don't have them)"
Which is strange because everyone else knows about the $30/device MINIMUM Apple demanded. Which only included the claims they were prepared to license... which would still have left Samsung devices banned.
HTC became irrelevant to Apple
Apple settled with HTC because HTC stopped being a competitive threat after effectively falling out of the Android market. The Apple/MS 'secret' deal also protects HTC WP7/8 sales from Apple interference.
With the stakes so low risking a possibly catastrophic trip to court no longer makes sense for Apple, having lost almost every case that reached court (and they've not even actually won against Samsung *yet*). Probably some attempt to hobble the weakened HTC in the deal but for Apple this was just closing down an pointless side war.
I share the opinion this was a catastrophic tactical error by Apple that will end their attempts to obstruct competition much faster.
Re: Wait and see
I see an OS rushed out before it was finished, a frankensteined construction of 2 incompatible OSes badly stapled together. It feels like halfway through building a completely standalone Metro OS they had to ship a real product but didn't have enough 'new' OS ready to replace all the old UI.
Until Win8 undeniably fails, MS will push on with removing more desktop mode. Right now MS employees will be sweating in their cubicles trying to make Metro UI replacements for the remaining desktop functionality. That's the Win9 roadmap, it's what Win8 was probably meant to be.
It will take a year of failure before MS management even consider reversing that roadmap. It will take a lot more years for their engineers to actually achieve some viable 'not classic desktop' replacement. Waiting for Win9 is at best optimistic, the Win9 MS are working on is not likely to be what you want.
Worse still, by the time they change course there will be no new innovation to ship, the code will be forgotten or rotted and just getting back to Win7 parity will take plenty of time.
What's really going to happen is Win7 will be supported at least as long as XP was and Win9 will just be a renamed Win7 SP3. Or more likely just Win7 without the pretence.
"option to turn off Metro in Win 8 SP1, which would make Win 8 quite usable"
...after a couple of weeks fighting the beast, it's going to take much more than that to make Win8 an improvement over anything. Reinstating the start menu, XP theming, bypassing Metro doesn't make up for the astonishing buginess and never ending discovery of small but irritating missing features.
If XP hadn't developed a deep and abiding hatred for working with Android devices in it's bit rotted (and inherently rotten) USB support I'd revert back tomorrow. Unfortunately I dislike Win7 almost as much (it's when the dumbing down really set in) so that's not an option.
it's the licensing
1st the desktop world is rapidly going 64bit... but that's largely AMD IP, licensed *by* Intel.
2nd a major factor in losing out everywhere else by refusing to license x86 or any other IA *to* competitors, except where they'd already been forced to in court last century. After AMD there was no credible alternative and never going to be another. That's a powerful incentive to switch platform even if Intel managed to deliver the low power CPUs the world needs. Few will willingly tie their future to a single supplier, especially one with Intels history of abuse.
The licensing issues means even if Intel deliver a perfect CPU there won't be mass migration to use it. It cedes control of company futures to Intel, with no backup plan.
"The 600Mhz band is empty"
So why is Sutton Coldfield transmitting on 618,626,642,650,666&674Mhz right now? Waltham goes as low as 538Mhz btw!
Does OFCOM have a fscking clue about anything?
Re: He is right about Android ICS
"Jakob is critical of Android"
ICS and Jellybean are both infected by the same thinking that created Metro's plain rectangles. The same lack of visual cues confusing the eye, the same oversimplification. Most of the world don't have ICS upgrades yet, probably why there's been no backlash - along with the substantial performance/feature improvements bundled with the new theme to soften the blow. Been using it for a few months now and it just isn't getting any better looking to me and I'm still poking the wrong hit zones far too often.
Both seem to be copying Google's web theming with it's plain rectangles and cryptic icons (still grateful someone kindly reminded me there is a text option instead), which confuses the hell out of me. Simultaneously looking dumbed down but needing more mental effort learning and remembering your way round the UI. It's as if MS looked at Googles success and blindly copied, tweaked, renamed without stopping to check they'd copied the good bits.
Re: The most stupid and biased thing of all.....
There's a legitimate reason to enforce injunctions quickly, this is really about Apple stopping Samsung gaining vendor lockin on new consumers. That has ongoing effects on future Apple sales. The problem is that's the wrong thing to do in the main US court system because it's so very, very slow and unsupportable injunctions take too long to undo. Glacial paced even when the participants aren't deliberately causing delay.
Faced with this situation most patent claims go straight to the ITC because the ITC responds quicker. Apple went straight to court because a quick result is the last thing they want, they're aware that failure is a very real possibility so play for the delay instead. The rest of the world refused to play, all other cases have been lost rapidly. In the US they got lucky in finding a protectionist, rather stupid judge prepared to let Apple do what they want. It's actually surprising her injunction got overturned so quickly, that's not normal in the US.
There's a fairly convincing legal analysis knocking around (from a real lawyer, not amateur speculation) that only a few % of the $1bil are eligible for triple damages. That's from a combination of errors/shortcuts on the actual paperwork due to the jury's astonishing wish to get out of the jury room fast and a form wording that fails to trigger the conditions necessary for triple damages.
If Koh actually awards substantial tripling there's a whole new appeal coming just based on that. What it suggests to me is Apple didn't plan for winning, they're just doing it to slow Samsung down and $1bil was unexpected.
What needs to happen to stop Apple is a few bans on their products. Until they start suffering the same 'abuse' the crusade will continue.
almost a standard feature
We're not far from the point where all sets on sale will be Internet enabled, it's already hard to find large screens without it. This is coming whatever the public wants - the industry wants it more.
I don't believe it will generate measurable *extra* sales though. Do expect it will actually be used, unlike the 3D dead end. Our TVs have been hooked up longer than iPlayer has existed and we used it just 2-3 times a year, being built in and easier to fire up should change that. Or maybe not in my house, where my old CRT sets do a better job hiding the piss poor video quality and I mostly watch Irish TV rugby coverage that's not going to be on any of these services!
...I also noticed one of the early Win8 updates was labelled 'IE ballot' and I don't remember seeing it give me a choice of browsers on launch day. Wonder how many of that 4mil upgrades Ballmer claimed were in the EU and installed before the update, how big the fine will be this time.
Re: I'm sure it was his own idea....
"Placing them in the Startup folder in the Start Menu folder, does nothing"
I think it silently blocks any app that would give a UAC prompt - so SpeedFan won't run but Thunderbird does. But I agree it's incompetently done. More annoying is the number of context menus (send to/open with/viewers) that no longer work. That is a PIA. Drag'n'drop seems flaky as well.
A couple of my daily annoyances:
I like file explorer views to show what's in the folder NOW, not what was in it when it first opened
I'd like refresh in a folder pane to work. I'd like it to always work in the file pane as well.
I'd like explorer to stop holding files I'm deleting open, blocking the deletion!
stop closing the fscking explorer window if I disconnect a USB mounted phone
If desktop can XP theme window decoration in compatibility mode, has fine grained colour customisation in high contrast mode, fine grained UI control out of HC mode - WTF can't I use all those features all the time?
Re: Good Piece
What I can't fathom is why:
Metro apps can't just sit in a Window on the desktop, even if that's a large fixed size one to match Metro expectations
Live Tiles (known everywhere else as widgets) can't work on the desktop, as just another OPTION
classic mode support had to be killed
detailed desktop theming had to die
There was a correct way to unify the platforms but it was to partially unify them, with the Metro subset a Metro-on-desktop experience. With the desktop a real user choice between classic and Metro modes. Of course that would further expose the bareness of Metro to even casual viewers but at least we'd be spared the pointless context switches.
protecting Ballmers sorry job
Hard to see this as anything more than a Ballmer pre-emptive strike. At one stroke he removes the most likely replacement for his job, but cements in place the Metro direction Windows has lurched in on his orders. Simultaneously protected his job and perpetuated the mistake that's going to kill MS.
Not that Sinofsky would have done anything to revert back to sanity, it really is just about Ballmer clutching desperately to his job.
Sinofsky may have shipped Win8 roughly on time, he didn't ship a finished version. With the excessive public testing this had I'm struggling to understand how rough it feels and how many annoying bugs it has. Watching it install 64 bit drivers that crash Win8 on 4Gb machines didn't even surprise me when it happened - if I could find working 2010 dated drivers WTF did MS include 2007 broken ones for?
Re: catching up with Android, not sure about IOS
I assume iOS got some sort of real background service before now, don't know, not sure I care. Skype was always a shitty, power draining piece of crap on Android, wouldn't expect it to work much better on IOS though.
The story here is the WinPhone *didn't* have usable background service support for it till now. As Google discovered VOIP seems to need deep hacking into the OS to keep performance and power use under control, they just got round to it more than a year ago and chose to support generic SIP instead of something they own and control. Think I'll be sticking to my SIP account and avoiding Skype.