It seems AMD is now suing Skype because of the exclusive deal they have with Intel regarding the availability of a conferencing feature only on machines with an Intel dual core processor. I thought something like that would happen and not only because the US have a tradition in making lawyers rich. And it makes me wonder...
- what strategic purpose may have convinced Skype to strike a deal of this sort? After all, their business is to provide hassle-free low-cost telephony services to as many people as possible. So why exclude non-Intel users?
- if indeed Skype's 10-way conferencing feature requires processing power that only Intel is supposed to be able to provide, then is this not a clear indication of the limitations of a communications technology? If you can't catter to the needs of 10 people trying to have a conf-call, then how can you expect to serve the professional market? And if you don't want to serve that market (I wonder why that would be the case), then how do you expect to achieve returns justifying a price tag somewhere between 2.5 and 4 billion USD?
- what value is there on Intel's side to go for something like that? I doubt it will bring them more sales of their dual core processors and on the image front it probably confirms the recent impressions that they are struggling badly in segments of the processor market where their dominance had not been challenged seriously in the past.
- would a consumer buy a PC with an Intel processor just to be able to have conf-calls with 10 participants? would a business go for Intel based machine when renewing their equipment simply because of the set of exclusive deals with software makers that Intel has or will have?
- what resources and how much focus will this whole thing compell Skype to invest in the legal fight instead of trying to develop their business?
Being one of the top names in a business often means that lots of people will try their best to beat you. And some of them just have the talent to challenge you very seriously. These are not times when incumbent can sleep on their laurels... In Skype's case, I believe Jajah is a formidable contender who will seriously curtail Skype's market ambitions (unless the incumbent is able to focus on redefining its strategy... and, no I don't believe anything less than that can save them when Jajah goes live with all its potential). This whole deal looks silly, but perhaps it is just me not being able to see its value... If you have an opinion, or answers to the above questions, let please me know. I'd hate to die totally stupid :)