Licensing for the cloud - the Skype case

These days, there were several articles in different media stating that eBay might discard its Skype service. The reason is that they haven't acquired the underlying P2P core technology. This is still owned by Joltid. And Joltid plans to terminate that license agreement. One doesn't need to be a prophet to guess that the real reason behind that situation is about money...

However, eBay definitely is in a difficult situation. They might find a deal with Joltid. They might discard the Skype service with its 16 million users - which probably won't be that lucky about. They might develop an own P2P technology. Or they might replace the P2P technology. Given the limited time eBay has to solve the problem they the most likely options are that eBay either will find a new agreement with Joltid or will have to acquire another P2P technology. There are several P2P providers out there, some supporting phone capabilities, like Collanos Phone. There are Open Source projects like Gizmo. Thus there are some options. It will require some intense technical due diligence for eBay to choose the technology which allows to continue the Skype service with somewhat equal features and not too much of disruption for existing users. But there are solutions out there.

It will be interesting to observe which option eBay chooses. Given that I'm a Skype user, I'm really interested in. I'm as well interested from a perspective of an analyst for the Cloud Computing market, because the situation eBay is in shows the inherent complexity of Cloud Computing with many different relying parties. Think about a situation where, just as an example, a database isn't provided any more by the cloud computing platform it has been run on before, because the company providing the platform has terminated the agreement with the database vendor. That would be somewhat the same story. Thus, think about these dependencies and look at the potential problems...



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