The History Of Skype

The History Of Skype

A Brief History Of Skype


Skype is a program that has become part of our lives and most people do not think about the history of it. Skype has been around since 2003 when the first public beta version was released. Since then, it has only grown in popularity and features.


Who Invented Skype?


Skype was founded by Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom in 2003. The software powering Skype was created by Priit Kasesalu, Ahti Heinla and Jaan Tallinn. The name for the program came from Sky Peer to Peer.


Skype is a program that was born from the peer to peer networking idea that powered Kazaa which was a popular file sharing system. The idea for Skype was that the more people who were using the system, the more reliable the connection was going to be. This peer to peer networking basis also influenced the free nature of the software.


The Original Skype


The first public version of Skype was the 0.90 Beta which was followed by a number of further versions. This initial version of Skype only allowed users to call landlines from their computer based on a fee schedule. The logo for the company was purple at this time.


The original version of Skype was followed by further versions with version 2.0 Beta being released in 2005. This was an important version as it revolutionized the internet calling industry. It was also the version which ensured the expansion of this communication application. The 2.0 Beta had a new design which was simplified and the interface had been simplified to make it easier to use.


The Very Important Year


The release of version 2.0 Beta launched Skype to new levels of popularity. This popularity brought other attention including that of eBay who went on to purchase Skype for $2.5 billion. The founders of Skype began to focus on a streaming service known as Joost which would not become very popular.


While owned by eBay, Skype continued to advance. However, eBay became frustrated with their purchase as they felt they had overvalued the product. This caused a change in the direction of Skype with a greater emphasis placed on sociability. This led to the instruction of Skypecasts in 2006.


Skype 3.1 was released and moved users from a family and friends network to businesses and organization. Skypecasts would continue to run until 2008. This was when eBay decided to pull the plug on Skype because they were losing money with the application.


Internal Tensions


During 2008, there was a lot of tension between eBay and the management teams of Skype. This tension finally led to the departure of the founders of Skype and Josh Silverman becoming the CEO. From the moment he took over, Silverman focused on video calls. This shift is what led to the elimination of Skypecast and Skype Find.


Skype version 4.0 was released with improved video calling. Screen sharing was introduced the next year with Skype 4.1. This version also used Boingo to provide wireless internet access as a pay per use service.


Going Mobile


When 2010 came around, Skype was already ingrained in computer operating systems. This is when their sights turn to the mobile marketplace with a focus on Android and iOS. The early versions of Skype mobile apps would only allow for voice calls.


Video calls reached iPhone users at the end of 2010. Android users were able to enjoy video calls by June 2011. This was not the end of their platform expansion as they launched into new markets such as smart TVs, Linux and consoles. Now, it’s possible to add credit to call landlines around the world for voice and even video chat, get a vanity mobile number or even a USA number, or use the platform for your virtual online business.


Who Owns Skype? Microsoft Purchase


In May 2011, Microsoft bought Skype for $8.5 billion. At this point, version 5.3 was being used and this included Facebook integration. Group calls were also on offer with this version.


By 2012, Microsoft stated that Skype would become their primary messaging service leading to the elimination of Messenger. This created a new surge in Skype usage and allowed users to log in with their Microsoft account. Skype would start to adopt the overall style of Microsoft such as the flat interface surface.


While starting out as part of the peer to peer networking movement, Skype has become one of the go-to applications for video calling. It has been integrated into Microsoft and benefited from the billions that the company has put to good use.


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