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Microsoft closing third-party access to Skype desktop API

updated 05:16 am EST, Mon November 4, 2013

Third-party apps, accessories will stop working with Skype in December

Third party applications, add-ons and accessories will soon cease to function with Skype, according to a new dialog box warning appearing when the app starts up. The change, which will take place in December, could end up rendering a large number of Skype-specific hardware either partly or entirely non-functional to users.

The change relates to Microsoft's decision to close the Skype Desktop API, reports Network World. A post on the Skype support pages advises that the API, created in 2004, does not "support mobile application development," with the company's move to "create a more familiar and consistent Skype experience across all major platforms" being the main justification for it.

Software that takes advantage of the API will stop communicating with Skype once it is closed. As for hardware, headsets with Skype-specific buttons will continue to work as a headset, but the extra buttons will not work with Skype itself anymore. Depending on the age of the device, users may have to look toward the headset manufacturer to see if there is a software update or something similar that can make the extra buttons more useful again.



By Electronista Staff
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  1. jpellino

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 10-29-99

    Here's my surprised face...

  1. drbenru

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 01-20-07

    Back when Skype was useful, and it was becoming a great tool for integrated communications, applications like Timbuktu (an older VNC like screen remote control) where using a Skype connection to route their traffic to the destination user.

    Back then, the inherent non-centralized peer communication protocols it used also made Skype a secure means of communication that was making governments very frustrated b/c they could not snoop (http://www.zdnet.com/eu-to-investigate-voip-tapping-techniques-3039616928/ ).

    Then MS bought Skype. The iOS app has slowly but steadily become crap. The quality of the calls has not only been hampered by whatever MS does, but it has also been steadily blocked and slowed by competing phone companies in countries with no net neutrality laws. MS has done nothing to make this blocking more difficult to accomplish.

    In fact all Microsoft seems to have done, is spent quite a bit of effort making Skype calls easier to spy (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2345884/How-Skype-developed-secret-program-called-Project-Chess-make-easier-law-enforcement-government-officials-spy-customers-data.html )

    Meantime, outside the US, many VoIP competitors are making an effort to make themselves a viable alternative.

    I lost all faith in Skype with the decreasing quality of their service as it became more and more integrated into the MS way of doing business. Its too bad, because it was quite a nice app once upon a time.

    This latest development is like jpellino implies completely unsurprising. Fortunately I've been so turned off by MS for so long that its also completely uneventful for me.

    I'm sorry for all the users that depend on third party apps or hardware to conduct business through Skype.

  1. pairof9s

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 01-03-08

    An apple that falls in cow poop tastes like cow poop, not an apple. This was a given the day Microsoft acquired Skype...the Skype we knew and made popular would surely cease to exist, sooner or later.

  1. mr100percent

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 12-06-99

    Right, so no third party apps, because you wouldn't want anyone else using your data except yourself, Microsoft and the NSA...

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