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Is Skype Now "Boring"?

Skypelogo-shadowIs Skype now "boring" in 2011? That's the question Phil Wolff raises over at the Skype Journal in his post "Skype is boring".

Phil points out, quite correctly, that Skype is no longer the scrappy little startup intent on disrupting the entire global telecommunications industry.

They've done that.

Telecom has been disrupted.

As I wrote about back in August 2011, Skype has accomplished a great amount in its eight years of existence... completely destroying the expensive costs of international telephony, bringing video telephony to the masses, introducing people to wideband audio, demonstrating that you can have secure VoIP... and so much more...

But as we enter 2012, Phil offers a number of reasons why Skype is now "boring". His main points are:

  • Skype is a top dog, not an underdog.
  • Skype is one-sixtieth of the Microsoft behemoth
  • Skype is less unique
  • Skype didn’t look innovative in 2011. Or 2010. Or 2009. Or 2008.
  • Skype staff don’t talk to the public.
  • Skype abandoned its revolutionary People’s Product identity,

(read Phil's post for his full description)

And he notes the current status of Skype:

Skype should end 2011 with about a thousand employees, about a billion dollars in sales, a portfolio of more than a dozen clients and a few platform products, and hundreds of millions of users.

Most of Skype’s work in 2012 will be more of the same. Getting new users. Holding onto existing users. Inducing users to Skype more. Putting Skype on more devices. Keeping the network running. Boosting ARPU. Diversifying revenue.

Sadly, I must agree. I used to write about Skype all the time here. But I don't as much any more, in large part because, like Phil, I don't tend to find Skype as interesting to write about as it once was.

Instead of the little company taking on "the Man", Skype has now become "the Man". Heck, Skype is even now owned by Microsoft... who pretty much defines "the Man" in terms of the corporate enterprise.

I don't see this as a bad thing, actually. It shows the success of Skype to fundamentally disrupt and change the telecommunications industry. There is still MUCH more disruption that needs to happen, and it will definitely be interesting to see what role Skype plays in all that.

Will we see exciting and innovative things coming out of Skype in 2012? Will they be revolutionary? Or simply evolutionary?

Can Skype rekindle some of the passion that users had for the company now that they are as big as they are? (and part of Microsoft?) As Phil asks, should they even try?

Will the writing about Skype move now from the bloggers and media sites that focus on the leading edge to more of the "enterprise" sites such as those from industry analysts? (Has it already?)

What do you think? Is Skype now "boring"?

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