Feeds

Skype U-turns on plan to kill off desktop API, spares foot from bullet

Phones, headsets and voice recording lives on - for now

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Skype has backtracked on a decision to terminate its desktop API next month, a move that would have broken the voice-chat service for millions.

Microsoft’s Voice-over-IP unit has said it’s now “extending support” for the parts of the API that work with hardware and allow the user to record calls.

Chat through third-party applications will stop, though, as planned.

There’s no word on how long the hardware and call-recording reprieve will last.

Skype’s Noah Edelstein blogged Thursday that the reprieve would last "until we determine alternative options or retire the current solution".

The climb-down follows a backlash from Skype developers and partners, who’ve established businesses building peripherals and software plug ins to the service over the decades.

One commenter, Nicolas Brunner, responded to the news of the reprieve by saying: “I am so glad you came to this conclusion. I am sure it saved countless business relationships and subscribers. Communication could have been... better.”

The desktop API has been in existence since 2004 and has helped establish the service and an ecosystem of partners worldwide.

Overnight, though, Skype threatened to kill partners’ businesses and unleash customer fury by deprecating a critical API.

The hardware portion of the API is critical because it lets a raft of partners build phones and headsets capable of working with the VoIP service.

The result would have been broken applications, phones and headsets for business and consumers users, without explanation.

Developers swung into action with a petition on Change.org calling on Skype to re-consider the kill order and offer them a migration path off the desktop API.

The number of signatories to the petition has more than doubled in just under two weeks has more than doubled from 480 to 1,237.

The catalyst was Skype’s developer program chief Chris Andrew telling partners in July that his company would stop development and maintenance of the desktop API from December.

The logic was that the desktop API doesn’t work on mobile devices, and the stated direction was for the HTML-based Skype URI interface to replace it, as it works across a range of devices including Mac and PC. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft on the Threshold of a new name for Windows next week
Rebranded OS reportedly set to be flung open by Redmond
'In... 15 feet... you will be HIT BY A TRAIN' Google patents the SPLAT-NAV
Alert system tips oblivious phone junkies to oncoming traffic
Apple: SO sorry for the iOS 8.0.1 UPDATE BUNGLE HORROR
Apple kills 'upgrade'. Hey, Microsoft. You sure you want to be like these guys?
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
ARM gives Internet of Things a piece of its mind – the Cortex-M7
32-bit core packs some DSP for VIP IoT CPU LOL
Lotus Notes inventor Ozzie invents app to talk to people on your phone
Imagine that. Startup floats with voice collab app for Win iPhone
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.