Sunday, September 05, 2004

The New York Times > Business > Your Money > Techno Files: In Internet Calling, Skype Is Living Up to the Hype

The New York Times > Business > Your Money > Techno Files: In Internet Calling, Skype Is Living Up to the Hype "Skype's own economics, including its promise that it will never impose a charge for Skype-to-Skype connections, depend on maintaining its rock-bottom cost structure and slowly adding revenue, through services like SkypeOut and future voice-mail and video-call services. The drive to hold down costs is also what originally took Mr. Zennstrom, a Swede, and Mr. Friis, a Dane, to Estonia. As Mr. Zennstrom sees it, during the "bubble years" in Sweden, programmers lost some of the hungriness and hustle he could still find in the Baltics.
The risks make it hard to predict the company's future. The world's existing telecom companies, battered for more than a decade by technical, regulatory and marketing changes, will presumably want to answer this latest challenge. Mr. Zennstrom says the telecoms should view Skype as healthily "disruptive technology" and respond by reinventing their business - as I.B.M. has done since the rise of the personal computer - instead of pouting their way into decline.
From the individual user's point of view, there are also questions about whether this new form of instant access could become as oppressively intrusive as e-mail often seems. But at this moment, it's hard to resist."
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