Is Skype going open source? Apparently so.
“Yes, there’s an open source version of Linux client being developed.
This will be a part of larger offering, but we can’t tell you much more
about that right now,” a Skype developer wrote on Skype list. “Having an open source UI will help us get adopted
in the “multicultural” land of Linux distributions, as well as on other
platforms and will speed up further development. We will update you once
more details are available.”
I run Linux and I also run Skype on my Linux desktop today. I also run Adobe’s Flash and AIR too. None of them are open source, but all are freely available. As an end-user I’m not sure that it makes a difference.
Sure, open source software is a good thing enabling developers to expand it more easily than closed source. As a developer, I sure would like to get into the internals of Skype and see what I can hack on.
That said, I know full well that the heart of the magic that makes Skype actually work are a number of patented close-sourced proprietary media codecs. The there is also the issue of the network itself which isn’t exactly open either.
But there are some real positives from Skype going open source too.