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August 25, 2005

Skype: Bringing Concept of “Presence” One Step closer to Mainstream

With the advent of Skype opening up their SkypeNet and SkypeWeb APIs to developers, “Presence” is now another step closer to becoming the multi-billion dollar industry that I believe it will be one day. At the moment “presence” is a concept many people in the IP Communications industry “get”, but very few consumers or Enterprise users really understand. I believe that Skype has the opportunity to both educate people what “presence” means and provide a platform for presence to become commercialized.

With Skype opening up their platforms, they are in fact empowering their developer community with the ability to create both horizontal and vertical applications and the opportunity to apply the concept of presence in applications which would not otherwise be considered “communication” apps.

Back in the mid-80s when Lotus 1-2-3 published their “1-2-3 Toolkit” they enabled third-party developers like myself to add @functions to Lotus 1-2-3. At that time, other developers took advantage of the availability of the developer tools and created vertical and horizontal spreadsheet applications for industries which at that moment, Lotus Development Corp. never considered had a need for their products.

I expect that over time we will see a similar, albeit different symmetry with the way the growing and innovative Skype developer community takes advantage of their available tools and apply them. It will be real interesting to see how some of the more creative Skype developers start to commercialize the opportunities presented and how that ecosystem evolves.

Skype's opening up of their Skype Net and Skype Web API to the web is yet another major step in their on-going contribution and commitment to the IP Communications revolution.

Posted by dymaxion at August 25, 2005 03:56 PM


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