Feeds

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

Phones, headsets and voice recording lives on - for now

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
PEAK LANDFILL: Why tablet gloom is good news for Windows users
Sinofsky's hybrid strategy looks dafter than ever
Fiendishly complex password app extension ships for iOS 8
Just slip it in, won't hurt a bit, 1Password makers urge devs
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.