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Companies like *Apple*, Mozilla and Facebook are busy making it easier for third-party developers to build apps that extend the value of their products and platforms — but not Skype. The VoIP provider has shut down Skype Extras, a program that let outside developers create hardware and software that worked with its service. Skype users will still be able to buy and run existing Extras (apps), and developers can still create new ones, since the company is keeping the coding tools public. But as of today, it’s no longer supporting the program, saying that too few people were even using the apps to make it worthwhile.
There’s a consensus that this is one of many tactics Skype is taking to trim costs (and possibly save jobs) before its new owners come in and restructure things. But is cutting off a developer community that can actually add value to the core Skype service a good long-term strategy?
Meanwhile, Om Malik argues that Skype has always had a lack of real support for app developers, which contributed to a lackluster Extras ecosystem. Indie developers like Cucku also say that Skype failed to promote or display the add-ons in a way that would attract more users.