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Re: The future of Skype for Linux

From: Haines Brown
Subject: Re: The future of Skype for Linux
Date: Wed, 11 May 2011 11:53:35 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.2 (gnu/linux)

John, I stand corrected. Debian aptitude reports:

  Package: skype                           
  New: yes
  State: installed
  Automatically installed: no
  Priority: extra
  Section: non-free/net
  Maintainer: Skype Technologies <>

So it is open but not free. However, there have been alternatives that
are both free and open: QuteCom (previously Wengophone), Gizmo (belongs
to Google; was Gaim), Jabin (?), Ekiga, java-based Pidgin Communicator
(Pidgin-Pidgin), jitsi (previously was SIP Communicator) and
Twinkle. This is not a complete list

Pidgin and jitsi apparently have more features than Skype, and at least
jitsi has file transfer and encryption. It is much under development,
but apparently is stable enough. For a compiled debian version: It is even heavier
on resources than Skype. It relies on 3rd party IM networks and
protocol, which MS might decide to lock out. It can't do phone calls
without a paid gateway or SMS messaging like Skype.

Of course, the disadvantage is that the person with whom you wish to
communicate must also have the same software installed. I don't know if
Skype and one of these alternatives can be installed simultaneously, but
I saw no warnings about doing that.


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