Posted in: grandcentral, jajah, simulscribe, skype, voiceapps

How Did Skype Get So Stale?

This is the first of a few (probably two) posts on voice apps. I’ve been using a lot of voice applications lately – Simulscribe, GrandCentral, Jajah, iSkoot, and Skype. Of all these applications, I feel that Skype is really behind the curve. I’ve been using Skype for a few years and it still feels to me like it’s the same core app that it was that I used in the beginning. Sure, they’ve added SkypeIn and SkypeOut (both of which are useful, if not commodity, features). There are two areas where I would have expected Skype to launch something new and interesting by now:
Remittances – Wasn’t Skype supposed to have a remittances product by now? With eBay owning PayPal and Skype having such a strong international (and cross-border) footprint, I’m surprised that such a product has not yet emerged.
Mobile VoIP – There is a Skype client that works for the Blackberry. Sadly, it’s not built by Skype (you can thank iSkoot for the development). I’d love to get a mobile VoIP app that would allow me to make cheaper international calls from my mobile phone. Right now I find Jajah to be a much better tool for such calls – Skype isn’t really a part of the consideration set.
Increasingly, I find Skype to be falling behind relative to its competitors when it comes to innovative voice apps. From my point of view, Skype today is essentially the same as it’s always been – a really good solution for PC-to-PC calls. Outside of that, it seems to be lacking innovative offerings. The few innovations that they have launched just seem incremental to me.

Would welcome any thoughts in the comments. Is this something that can be chalked up to eBay’s influence, the loss of key people, or something else?

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