Skype, Google Talk to InterOp?


Google and eBay deal announced earlier today is going to have even bigger ramifications for the VoIP world. Google Talk team is talking about interoperating with Skype.

Just as exciting are our plans to explore interoperability between Google Talk and Skype, making it easier for our users to chat with one another. This is just another step in our commitment to interoperability via open, industry standards.

Sounds promising, though the use of word “explore” throws me off a little. Is it even possible? Aswath, your expertise is sorely needed just about now!

Aswath responds:

The short answer is that it is eminently feasible for these two networks to interoperate. After all, Skype clients signal only through supernodes and these supernodes can route the signaling messages to an “XMPP signaling gateway” which translates Skype signaling messages to corresponding XMPP messages….Thus, at least for calls involving simple setup and tear down, what is required is a straight forward signaling gateway between them.

Ina Steiner, the editor of AuctionBytes, a eBay focused newsletter tells the New York Times:

It looks like eBay is milking its auction site as a cash cow to invest in PayPal and Skype. People are already seeing the tests for the Yahoo ads, and they are not happy about them because they compete with the eBay sellers. Most sellers don’t want to talk to buyers.They can barely keep up with their e-mail correspondence.

It is nice to see big media wake up to the Skype side of the story, even though they had been prebriefed ahead of the news.



The online stores who sign up with click to call with google are not going to record calls to check for fraud.

No one calls their cell phone company to ask for credit when there is a wrong number dialed to them – they just pay for the minute and move one.

The same will hold true with this.


Actually, it will be easy for the businesses to establish fraud. They can use the CDR if short holding times are considered to be motivated by fraud or routinely record the conversations and play back to Google. I feel the situation is the direct oppsoite – there will be clear transparency.


I want to coin a new term here..

P2P = Phone to Phraud

Googles #1 problem now and in the future is click fraud which some claim is at 20-25% of ad revenues. Now, “prank” calls actually have a value.

Of course Google makes this deal – now they have access to millions of callers to help them inflate revenue numbers.



The ramifications of tying together Skype and AIM via Google Talk are rather interesting. This would be a serious blow to Yahoo and Microsoft’s IM plans, in addition to a serious knock against telcos.

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