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Thursday, May 12, 2011

Skype-Ballmer Part II: software code and ethical codes

As Ballmer buys Skype as a separate operating unit (which means he's serious about it continuing to develop instead of being squashed by Office/Windows), three elements will be challenging:
[1] will the software continue to develop across all platforms, although obviously it will develop faster for the Windows7 and mobile platforms?
[2] will Ballmer keep the encryption software as it stands? It is hostile to corporate networks - to evade firewalls, prevent reverse-engineering and prevent wiretapping. This is not how Microsoft works, and for users, their privacy might be about to change for the worse. That is a particular concern in Skype running over mobile networks and in developing/controlling countries like China and Libya - is it sneaking onto networks for free, or openly negotiating access?
[3] for me, most importantly - is Microsoft going down the Google route, abandoning open net neutrality lobbying for its own corporate ends? If so - and who can doubt it - then do not expect to ever hear from the excellent Jean-Jacques Sahel on 'unternets' again. AT&T and T-Mobile will be glad to avoid the discussion....

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