Is Microsoft's acquisition of Skype an acknowledgment of the power of open source?

Posted 18 May 2011 by 

Colin Dodd (Red Hat)
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Yes, definitely.
10% (16 votes)
Yes, until they shut it down.
24% (36 votes)
No, it's just another bad business decision.
27% (41 votes)
No, they will migrate the backend to Windows as soon as they can.
39% (60 votes)
Total votes: 153

Feel free to discuss this topic in the comments.

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12 Comments

DigitalFreedom
Microsoft will never acknowledge free and open source software. they will probably use this opportunity to switch to Windows as soon as possible and come up with a fictional excise for explaining why GNU/Linux is not as good. Microsoft giving impression they are now friends with free and open source software is just their hoax.
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dragonbite
Open Source Evangelist
I don't think Microsoft is thinking that deeply. This is likely viewed by the 10,000 foot perspective where they are trying to get back to competitiveness (is that a word? ;)) Google, Apple and open source vendors are innovating and pushing forward with their own devices and goals. Microsoft hasn't come up with a specific "goal" so the purchase of Skype may be more a knee-jerk reaction rather than a larger, sinister, thought-out plan. If it can increase Microsoft's competitiveness with Apple (Talktime) and Google (Gtalk), that is their goal. If it hurts open source then I think they view that as "added fluff". Otherwise, I think Microsoft is listing in the sea, and the stock market is taking note. Oh yes, they are making billions of dollars in their sleep, but people and investors are starting to question how long this spigot will last! They've got years of life support in Windows, Office and their other products, but procrastinating will only get one bought up. There is no "gee whiz" or "whiz bang" product on the horizon to get people excited about what's to come and that's killing them. They look like a fossil that is lumbering off to the tar pits.
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Brotherred
Ditto all of that.
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RealityCheck
Personally I don't like Microsoft. But the reality is that the likes of Microsoft, Apple, are commercial ventures. Apps developpers target these platforms not because they love anybody, but to make money. It is not everyone who want to toil writing apps and not see money coming in. Yes they'll gut skype and come up with something else. Besides skype is just a P2P thingee. Now is the time for the FOSS community to come up with an alternative.
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Unidentified
Skype isn't open source
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JBstrikesagain
Open Enthusiast
Right. There are Linux clients but they are closed source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skype#System_and_software <cite>Skype uses a proprietary Internet telephony (VoIP) network called the Skype protocol. The protocol has not been made publicly available by Skype and official applications using the protocol are closed-source. </cite>
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Unidentified
What does the purchasing of Skype have to do with open-source?
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Tim Abraham
I believe the takeover of Skype is a huge move by Microsoft. Simply because they are using it to make Bing the worlds number 1 search engine in front of Google! Read more here <li>http://tinyurl.com/5vmw7y4</li>
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craigharffey
Open Source Evangelist
I don't understand what the purchase of a closed technology has got to do with this website, this was an opportunity to purchase a customer base, a popular technology and potential ad stream.
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igorreyes
Community Member
I think Microsoft is making the decisions very different from its origin. Currently we are seeing improvements in its software and different treatment to the end users of their products. Of course I agree with Drew Kwashnak when he says that may be more a gut reaction rather than a broader plan, sinister thought. It's really obvious that it is possible that Microsoft has awakened from the dream that his dream had dipped into the free fall.
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Blaise Alleyne
What a dumb question. Skype is 100% proprietary -- and Microsoft's severed Skype connections with Asterisk. http://www.zdnet.com/blog/networking/microsoft-skype-breaks-open-source-partnership/1111
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simonfranco
Community Member
I gave up worrying about what Microsoft thinks or does a very long time ago. But I do not see them (and never will) as open source supporters. They're in it for the profit and the elimination of competition. They'll probably just come up with a buggy version of skype, trying to integrate it into too many useless things, and have it crash during the pre-launch presentation. They have fouled up so many times that I cannot take them seriously anymore, they just make me smile.
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