Skype shuttered its Skype Extras third-party application development program due to lack of interest in the applications programmers created. The Skype Shop Extras Website claims the program includes dozens of applications, which programmers submit to the Skype Shop for users to use for free or for purchase. The move is yet another sign of the changes Skype is undergoing as it seeks to become more nimble.
VOIP provider Skype Sept. 11 shuttered its Skype Extras
third-party application development
program due to lack of interest in the applications programmers created.
Skype, 65 percent of which parent company eBay is selling
to Silver Lake and other investors, made the announcement in an e-mail
to Skype Extras developers today.
"Despite the incredible breadth of Extras developed
for Skype, simply not enough people were using them to justify our continued
support of the Extras program," wrote Skype marketing spokesperson Elke
Karskens in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by eWEEK.com. "It was
a tough decision for us, but we want to ensure that we prioritize our time and
resources to deliver our core products such as voice and video, expanding Skype
among business users, and expanding Skype into mobile and other platforms."
A Skype spokesperson pointed eWEEK to this blog post
by Skype engineer Antoine Bertout, who explains the closure.
The Skype Shop Extras Website claims
the program includes dozens of applications
, which programmers submit to the Skype
Shop for users to use for free or for purchase. Skype launched
Extras in June 2007.
Karskens also said that beginning today Skype will no
longer certify new applications, but that existing applications will remain
certified until their expiration dates and all unused test tickets will be reimbursed. Apps
will continue to be distributed through the Extras Manager in Skype for Windows
but Skype will no longer add new Extras to the Extras Manager. Moreover, all public API
documents will continue to be maintained.
After Dec. 11, Skype said it will no longer allow the
use of Skype credit by third-party Extras developers, and a final invoice
detailing the full amount of the gross revenue received from Skype users must
be submitted within 45 days of this date. Skype will stop processing publisher
invoices after Jan. 25, Karskens said.
The move is yet another sign of
the changes Skype is undergoing as it seeks to become more nimble. The VOIP
service boasts 481 million users and experts expect it to grow unfettered now that
eBay is not hovering over it, vacillating on whether Skype fits into its future
Skype does still have a nasty
lawsuit with Joltid on tap, but this won't go to court until June 2010. In the
meantime, the company can trim some of the fat and become
better positioned for growth by improving its existing PC-to-PC calling
services, and going after the mobile market. Shuttering Extras is one such step.
Karskens said few people were using the
applications in the Extras program. One wonders whether Skype Extras developers
feel they are getting a fair shake; some will no doubt claim Skype failed to
adequately support their efforts.