Say what you will about privacy issues and anti-competitive behavior, but there’s no question that Microsoft’s Skype is the world’s most popular voice over IP (VoIP) application. Interestingly enough, though, its original intention was not to create a VoIP network, but a Wi-Fi sharing network, according to Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn.
“The initial idea was to develop a WiFi-sharing network, and then provide various ‘telecom-like’ services on top of that, such as TV and telephony,” explained founding engineer Jaan Tallinn in a Reddit AMA obtained via Engadget.
The original idea was to make Skype similar to Fon, but because of the inability to offer TV services due to copyright lawsuits from developing Kazaa, a file-sharing website, in addition to the difficulty of having a VoIP service to use with the Skype Wi-Fi, this idea never materialized. Skype decided to create its own VoIP service, and thus, the Skype VoIP protocol was born.
It’s definitely interesting to think that without the aforementioned difficulties, we wouldn’t have Skype. It’s even more interesting to think of other possibilities, including a very big one for TruTower as the world’s premiere VoIP and messaging app blog: if Skype VoIP hadn’t existed, and hadn’t inspired the growth of the VoIP segment, would the other VoIP apps cease to exist — in their current forms or otherwise — as well?