TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Gripes From Skype Users After eBay Buyout

Re: Gripes From Skype Users After eBay Buyout

William Warren (
Tue, 13 Sep 2005 19:36:29 -0400

Adam Pasick wrote:

> By Adam Pasick

> Ebay's acquisition of Skype could be worth up to $4.1 billion to
> investors in the Internet telephony start-up, but it is getting mixed
> reviews from Skype's fervent supporters.

> It was the hard-core Skype fans whose word-of-mouth advertising helped
> it become the world's largest voice over Internet protocol (VoIP)
> provider without spending a penny on marketing. It has some 54 million
> registered users and usually has more than 3.5 million people online.

> But the sale to eBay could signal the end of the evangelical zeal from
> users that drove Skype's rapid growth. Its software -- which offers
> free computer-to-computer calls between Skype users -- has spread in
> classic viral fashion, as each new user convinces friends and family
> to sign up.


The same thing happended with Red Hat -- they built a dedicated user
base, relied on word-of-mouth to spread their product, and became the
preeminent Linux distribution.

Then, they changed their distribution model so that they now have
"Enterprise" and "Enthusiast" versions, started charging "license"
fees on open-source software, and invited the user base that had
spread their brand name to participate in "Alpha" software tests,
while saving stable versions for paying customers.

What was it that The Who sang about? " ... then I get on my knees and
pray -- we don't get fooled again"?



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