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Is Skype Soon To Release New APIs? Skype Renames Public API And Extends "Plugged into Skype" Partner Program

Today brings two changes from Skype to their developer programs. First, in an effort to bring some clarity to their existing application programming interfaces (APIs), they have renamed the "Skype Public API" to be called the "Skype Desktop API." As noted in a Skype blog post:
In Aug 2004, we made the Skype Desktop API available to encourage third-party innovation and integration with Skype. The Skype Desktop API allows Partners to access Skype functionality through the Skype desktop client via a text-based command protocol. The intent is not to duplicate Skype functionality but to complement the Skype desktop client with additional features and/or capabilities (e.g., call recording).

This is the API that pretty much all developers have had to use until recently where you application interacts directly with a Skype client. This also means that you have to have a Skype client running to use the API, which has been an additional annoyance for many developers. Developers have long desired an ability to connect directly into the Skype cloud without needing to run a client. Many of us had hoped that "SkypeKit" would be that client-less connection... but it, too, requires a client.

UPDATE: Multiple friends pointed out to me that SkypeKit is a bit more nuanced than this. SkypeKit does NOT require a "full" Skype client, i.e. a full working version of the Skype program. It does, however, require a "runtime" component to be running on a local system. It is that runtime (for Linux, MacOS X, Windows) that then makes the connection out to the Skype cloud. While this may not be a "client", per se, it does still require Skype code running alongside your application. Many of us would like to see "web APIs" from Skype that let you connect in to Skype's cloud without any kind of additional required Skype software. It is those kind of APIs to which I am referring in the paragraph below.

We know, though, from conversations at conferences and events that Skype has been working on developing new APIs... and perhaps this renaming is a precursor to the release of those new APIs. We can only hope... as they have been a l..o..n..g.. time in coming.

The other bit of news was that Skype is now promoting the use of the "plugged into Skype" logo for products using the newly-renamed Desktop API. Previously this program was promoted for SkypeKit products when SkypeKit emerged from beta back in June 2011 . Again from the post:

Plugged into Skype lets Skype users know that the application is built by a partner to work on Skype but was not built by Skype.

There is naturally a page in Skype's developer site (login required) all about how you can use the logo, original image files, etc., etc.

All of this is good to see as Skype, like everyone, is trying to woo developers to build apps on their platform (and add them to Skype's new "App Directory"). Making their program clearer can only help. (And hey, this is only their, what? ... 6th attempt at a developer program? Eventually they may figure it out.)

Meanwhile... is this renaming setting the stage for the release of some new client-less APIs? Let's hope so...

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