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Skype Tells Nimbuzz To Cut Off Support By Oct. 31st

by Sean P. Aune | October 25, 2010October 25, 2010 12:00 pm PST

The folks over at popular mobile communication app Nimbuzz got a rude awakening this morning when they found out that Skype wants them to turn off all connections to its service as of Sunday, Oct. 31st. Of course what is now following this is a war of words over what the real reason is, but it seems that no matter who says what, the result will be the same.

>With a registered base of users that numbers around 30 million, Nimbuzz has become one of the leading mobile communication apps out in the market today. While the company supports a multitude of services such as AIM, ICQ, Facebook and so on, Skype has been one of the more popular because it allowed you to interact with your contacts on that service from anywhere.

nimbuzzits official blog which read in part (emphasis theirs):

Skype’s decision to ask us to stop supporting their service seems to be part of a strategy to disconnect all open third party support. So it doesn’t come as a surprise, but it is certainly unfortunate. Instead of locking you in, we will continue to let your mobile do more for you for less, and offer the same quality of free and low cost communications services. It’s your Phone. They’re your contacts. Communicate your way, not someone else’s.

For its part, Skype is saying:

Skype has been in discussions with Nimbuzz regarding our concern and belief they were using Skype’s software in ways which it was not designed for, in a breach of our API Terms of Use and End User Licence Agreement.

Skype offered to meet Nimbuzz and discuss the issue however we have not heard back from them since our last correspondence to them in early August. As we have said before, Skype encourages openness and supports developers to build products that work with the Skype platform.

The company went on to say in another statement that, “Our APIs and SDK are designed for third-party hardware and desktop software application development.”  Adding a bit more explanation, Skype said, “We only work with mobile operators and handset manufacturers committed to delivering the best Skype user experience, as we’ve shown with 3, Nokia, Verizon and, most recently, KDDI.”

Speculation is running rampant that this actually more about gaining control before the company attempts an IPO next year, with the added evidence being the fight between Skype and Fring from this past summer.   From a personal view, this argument doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.  Wouldn’t you want to be able to tell potential investors that your users have numerous ways to interact with your service, making it an essential part of their daily lives?  By cutting off methods of communicating Skype it would do the exact opposite.  Saying that this is about protecting their existing relationships with mobile carriers makes a lot more sense to me than anything else that is being thrown around the Internet as a possible motivation.

Whatever the case may be, come this weekend, Nimbuzz is out of the Skype game.

What say you?  Is Skype wrong for doing this?


Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...

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