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Skype API shutdown leads to petition

Microsoft plans to block access to third party apps
Fri Oct 25 2013, 16:35

ANGRY DEVELOPERS, a breed not unlike Angry Birds but without the desire to fling themselves at naughty pigs, have started a petition asking Microsoft to withdraw its plan to switch off the desktop API for Skype.

The news follows Microsoft's announcement that support for third party applications will end in December. The petition explains, "The decision to discontinue Skype's Desktop API impacts our ability to use Skype within my normal Skype calling activities." It goes on to request that, "Skype/Microsoft provide continued support for third party Skype utilities that have become mission critical to Skype's users."

The API runs a range of services, including call recording clients, and in some cases third party hardware including certain headsets. Its discontinuation will most likely see problems for third party instant messaging (IM) services that rely on the API to aggregate IM services, as Skype does not use the Jabber protocol.

Microsoft's explanation of this was fairly straightforward. It said, "The Desktop API was created in 2004 and it doesn't support mobile application development. We have, therefore, decided to retire the Desktop API in December 2013."

However, many developers who receive income from their products using the Skype API are unsatisfied with this.

Although Skype has had a mobile client dating back as far as Windows Mobile 5, it has never had parity with the desktop version and there remains some bewilderment as to why Microsoft has made this decision.

At the time of writing shortly after launch on Friday, the petition had 540 signatures and rising, showing that there is a groundswell of support for the initiative. µ


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