Thursday, March 2, 2006

What now Skype?

I wanted to do a link dump on the recent oil price increase in Malaysia that so many bloggers are upset about (just go here and see the number of posts in regards to fuel price increase). But I have already done three 'anti-subsidies' posts in the past with a grand total of one reply by a Malaysian blog celeb. My environmental ranting isn't exactly generating any heat due to the Malaysian mentality, so I think will just blog about something else instead. Skype.


I recently helped by grand auntie install Skype. Making free calls to her friends all over Europe was obviously important. I used to be a fan of Skype even though I knew the software isn't terribly efficient. I hardly use any VoIP software now due to rising electricity cost - leaving your PC on just to make or receive a phone call is quite pathetic.

Skype in the past has resisted developing a PalmOS variant of their application citing 'slow processor' as their main excuse. Recent confirmation that the Metroid Prime: Hunters game for the Nintendo DS (which has a 66Mhz ARM9 processor) would contain a lobby chat function proves just how incompetent the programmers are at Skype. Either that or their business mantra is somehow skewed. Platform agnostic my arse.

Yesterday news about Skype being subpoenaed by AMD in their AMD/Intel anti-trust lawsuit in the US. Before I continue I have to say that the news about the Skype/Intel deal escaped me (I was busy, I didn't check /.), so most of the deal is pretty new to me. However after digesting the news about how Skype plans to restrict functions to only PCs that contains Intel Core Duo and Pentium D processors, I was furious.

Now the company has, in some bullshit way, maintained that only Intel processors has the power to run those advance 10-way conference calling. This performance bullshit excuse is similar to the bullshit excuse that was given for the lack of Skype application for the PalmOS platform. But this is actually far worse because while Skype can argue that PalmOS as a platform sucks (which in some ways is quite true), how can you argue for crippling a software on AMD machines unless somebody is paying you to. All this under the lie that Pentium Ds are faster than AMD X2 processors with 2Ghz bus. CPU resources has nothing to do with it - it is all about bandwidth!

Excuse me while I look out for any flying pigs.

Okay where were we? What Intel/Skype are saying is that Intel's processors are so mush faster, that it will totally outperforms AMD's - to the point that Skype is needed to lock out AMD users - even if their processors outperformed a similar spec'ed Intel Yonah processors. You have access to the Interweb - just search for reviews of AMD processors. AMD CPUs has been proven to be equal if not better than similarly priced Intel chips.

Intel is feeling the heat now. They just can't compete with AMD in terms of raw performance, so they attempt to lock out software features (just like they do with PC manufacturers - Dell anyone?). What they are doing is an abuse of monopoly by trying to lie over their performance level. This deal has 'anti-competitive' written all over Paul Otellini's facial. Bill Gates is sure to be proud of him.

I am no fan of Google (especially with the way Google behaves these days) but if Skype can't just see through this damn mistake then I (and many others) won't be topping up my SkypeOut accounts anymore and be switching to other VoIP software like Google Talk.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

nice article on skype. welcome on for more skype stuff

i am also in malaysia