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Summary:

Last week when Skype announced that it had seen five million downloads for the Pocket PC platform, I was suitably impressed. Why? Because it showed that there is clearly a demand for a Skype-type solution on the mobile phones. Of course, we all know that the […]

Last week when Skype announced that it had seen five million downloads for the Pocket PC platform, I was suitably impressed. Why? Because it showed that there is clearly a demand for a Skype-type solution on the mobile phones. Of course, we all know that the delta between downloads and actual usage is huge.

The news announcement also brought to the forefront issues Skype has had with its mobile clients, or lack there of. Despite promising a Symbian client for a while, the company is yet to deliver on its promises. We know that there are issues that need to be resolved before mobile Skype clients become common place.

Of course, Nitzan Shaer who won’t be losing sleep over it. Skype’s Director of Mobile Devices has left the company for parts unknown. He is the latest pre-eBay Skyper to get out of dodge. Stephanie Bouchet, who used to handle marketing at Skype is gone as well. About a dozen original Skypers have left the company. Looks like eBay-ification of Skype is happening much faster than we originally thought. It would be interesting to see how this shakes out.

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  1. A good number of early Skypers have left in the past 6 months, most of them cashed out the majority of their options and left for greener pastures. However, one thing to note is that almost all the people who have left are from the London office. Skype’s Tallinn development center, which is the largest Skype office, has done an amazing job finding and retaining talent and also done a lot to insulate itself from a lot of the politics that the eBay purchase brought.

  2. Hi Om,

    I wonder how will Skype Mobile compare with services like Jajah Mobile? So far I have good landline experience with Jajah in North America but my one and only one international free call to Hong Kong was just “bad” (to put it very nicely).

    Thanks for a great site and insightful analysis on things,
    Kempton

  3. You have your numbers wrong. Of the employees working for Skype before the eBay acquisition more than 3 dozend have left including Saul Klein (formerly VP of marketing and now EIP at IndX), Faisal Galeria (formerly Director of BD and now at Fon) and half the business development team, the entire Skype HR department, etc. The character of the company has been changing rapidly. The acquisition by eBAY has turned to be a bear hug: supposed to be warm and cuddly, but in reality squeezing the air out of the lungs, at least in London. Almost all employees who left gave up a significant number of unvested options rather than endure the eBay politics.

  4. Vinod Ponmanadiyil Monday, October 30, 2006

    I think Talkster and Fring is going to steal the show!

  5. Yer I use skype as an alternative to mobile phones. I used to have a mobile phone until it was put into the washing machine. Now i have a PDA with skype install and i can phone from various placed for free. I like that idea of free calls. More companies should start up and create some competion so I can call to landlines and other mobile devices for free!

    Wogboi

  6. FBI smashes fake boarding pass guy’s door (and new…

    Now boarding: IT Blogwatch, in which a security researcher demonstrates flawed airport security and gets his home searched by the FBI. Not to mention fresh meat from Go Home Productions…

  7. skype-ebay, behind the scenes Monday, October 30, 2006

    For Skype-eBay to succeed Meg Whitman needs to replace sr. management team who came from eBay. They are clueless about what needs to be done.

  8. To be fair, it’s worth a note that, of a company of some 500, there will always be some turnround, especially in fully vested employees. Probably these guys recoeved so little that it doesn’t matter, or they timed out a year after acq,.

    The central team of Friis & Zennstrom + the original development team, and acquisitiion team of geoff prentice,michael jackson jason goodman, plus the central estonian development team remain.

    As far as I can figure out these guys are still about. If you’ld paid 2 billion, wouldn’t you put your folk in ?

    Testament is that the founding team are still around at all.

  9. when you PAID way too much for way too little in REVENUES , who wants to be on the Titantic when EBAY sends a torpedo midship?????/

    skibare

  10. Alexander Straub Thursday, November 2, 2006

    I know of a very workable download for Symbian, the company is called (( truphone )), I have the client since 3 months on my Nokia and it has done wonders to my mobile bill. The rates are also cheaper, I believe they offer free calls to all the worlds landlines until the end of the year. I can only recommend it, once you have overcome the installation problems you are in mobile heaven

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