Skype co-founder reveals service's origins as WiFi-sharing network

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Mariella Moon
June 9, 2013 3:53 AM
In this article: Fon, reddit, RedditAma, skype, voip
Skype co-founder reveals service's origins as WiFi-sharing network

Everyone and their mother knows Skype as a call and chat messenger, but it would've been a completely different beast if its founders' original plans came to fruition."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.

Tallinn compared the project to Fon, but he and his co-founders hit a wall: they couldn't offer TV services because they were battling copyright lawsuits as developers of P2P file-sharing site Kazaa. The team also had trouble finding a decent VoIP product to attach to the service and wound up concocting their own technology instead. The new VoIP tech, which was supposed to be named Skyper until the team noticed was already taken, eventually became the focus of the service. It's an interesting look at the birth of the chat messenger we know today. Now if only we could figure out if the government has direct access to Skype's logs, we'd be set.

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