Ever since Skype first launched, they have really been one of the showcases for Global IP Solutions' (GIPS - formerly "Global IP Sound") codecs, particularly the wideband iSAC codec which you could argue is largely what has accounted for the great audio quality you can often get on Skype calls. Now, of course GIPS has many other customers - in fact their customer/partner list reads like a veritable "Who's Who" of companies within the VoIP industry. Skype, though, has always been one of the great examples to point to.
It would seem, though, that Skype and GIPS have had a parting of the ways. Back in March, there was discussion of new codecs in the Skype 3.2 beta and the possibility that this was as a result of an acquisition Skype had made. Yesterday, though, there was a post to the main Skype blog that included this (my emphasis in bold):
And because we’ve replaced our audio engine in our most recent releases — it’s now fully built in-house — it’s worth bearing in mind that you may run into some bumps when a call is placed from an older version of Skype to newer versions.
So "it's now fully built in-house", eh? That would seem to pretty clearly confirm that the GIPS engine is no longer inside of Skype. We can speculate as to why... did the contract with GIPS come up for renewal and GIPS wanted more $$$? Did Skype just want more control? Politics? Personalities? Some other reason?
In any event, it will be interesting to see Skype's evolution as they work out the issues of the migration, particularly because there are undoubtedly a great number of people out there running an older version who have no clue that they should upgrade. (Earlier versions had no notification that a new version was available.)