Commentary on “Skype Comes of Age”

Alec Saunders has posted his impressions from afar of information coming out of the eBay/Skype Developers Conference. Some observations:

The conference definitely set a baseline for what to expect from Skype in terms of API evolution, eBay and PayPal integration and developer partner support. And it represented a major milestone in the value eBay is bringing in terms of both management and marketing resources.

Alec referenced a PayPal integration into the Skype menu; however, I also saw a preview of the next version of the Skype for Outlook Toolbar where the PayPal icon will trigger a monetary transfer to any of your Outlook Contacts, not just Skype Contacts. A report on my interview with Peter Kalmström about Toolbars is forthcoming.

Then he talks about the 30,000 eBay developers and anticipates a major eBay ecosystem. However, in speaking with Scott Miller of The Usual Suspects Radio Show, he pointed out a major differentiation of eBay developers from Skype developers that came out of his informal discussions during the eBay DevCon. In particular, whereas Skype developers are attempting to develop products embedding Skype resulting in commercial products for resale, the 30,000 eBay developers tend to serve as micro-“IT departments” for individual eBay resellers, especially the 250,000 resellers with eBay stores. They are customizing eBay stores and Power Seller sites but with no expectation to actually resell product. The Skype expectation requires additional Developer Program resources on Skype’s part in order to facilitate promotion of their developer partners’ offerings. This was reinforced in my interview with Lenn Pryor.

And Mathew Ingram agrees with my impression that there was a lot of hype created for what amounted to the pilot activity of a long expected integration with eBay auctions.

About Jim Courtney

Bringing over thirty years' experience in the sales, marketing and management of cutting edge technology businesses.

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