It's good to talk... clearly. Clearly,
There is generally a reason why most sector leaders attain their lofty position. In the case of Skype a lot of it can be attributed to ‘SILK’ its proprietary speech codec which is the reason why call quality is so high – even with limited bandwidth. So naturally Skype has this week decided to give it away, for free… Wait. What?
“(I) have some very special news to bring our developer community – we’re making the SILK speech codec available for a royalty free license by third-party software and hardware developers soon,” proclaimed Skype Audio and Video GM Jonathan Christensen.
The motivation behind the decision is to try and establish SILK as the industry standard across a wide variety of platforms, apps and devices and ultimately push it in the mobile sector – something it has successfully (and controversially) managed with the flagship Nokia N97. In essence this is another ‘Telecoms Look Out!’ moment. Good.
”In related news” Skype has also announced a deal with voice to text service SpinVox which will enable Skype users to receive VoIP voicemails to their handsets as text messages. The useful new feature will cost a hefty 17p per message on top of your network operator’s standard cost however so you may well be happy to make them wait.
Personally I’d be amazed if the price of this feature doesn’t drop substantially in future, especially if Skype really wants to kill the landline and wage war on the mobile telcos. You remember mobile telcos… those future dumb pipes.