by Mike Masnick

VoIP Is A Feature, Not A Product

from the too-bad-for-Skype dept

When the very first bit of buzz came out suggesting that Skype might be sold for some ridiculous sum, we pointed out why its numbers looked inflated. The company kept touting downloads -- which are pretty much meaningless. It also talked about registered users, but not necessarily active users. However, eBay went ahead and paid heavily for Skype anyway -- only to discover that neither of the two reasons given for the Skype purchase actually applied. A new study is making the decision look even worse. Not only does it appear that there are fewer than expected users of Skype, but the product is now losing its marketshare quickly, as others come along offering bundled, branded products. In other words, it's easily replaceable for many -- and people would prefer to have it as a feature of a much larger offering, such as from their broadband provider (but not from their online auction platform). Somehow, we get the feeling that selling ringtones for Skype (especially when its easy to make your own with the music on your computer) isn't going to make up the difference.

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