Om points out an entry in GTalk's blog that suggests GTalk and Skype are exploring the possibility of interoperability between them. He questions whether it is even feasible and calls on me with an ego-boosting remark. How can I not respond?
The short answer is that it is eminently feasible for these two networks to interoperate. After all, Skype clients signal only through supernodes and these supernodes can route the signaling messages to an “XMPP signaling gateway” which translates Skype signaling messages to corresponding XMPP messages. Now it is possible that there may be a mismatch in procedures/messages related to some supplementary services; but I do not anticipate any for basic call setup and clearing. Since both of them use GIPS iSAC codec there will not be any issue regarding codec interoperability. Even though Skype uses encryption normally, (if I recall correctly) it does not encrypt calls to PSTN; similarly, it may decide not to encrypt calls to Gtalk. Thus, at least for calls involving simple setup and tear down, what is required is a straight forward signaling gateway between them.
I would think that exchanging text messages will be equally straight forward, at least for basic capabilities and exclude emoticons and avatars etc. But then again Gtalk does not support many of these “frills”.
Having said that, let me hasten to register once more my dismay at “click-to-call” programs, even though the current press release does not explicitly calls out. The general perception seems to be that pay per call will generate more revenue than pay per click, even though there is another general perception that voice is just an application in the Internet (as if it is not in PSTN). So if Google is planning to charge more for click-to-call links then that is “evil”, in as much as it can be easily circumvented.Posted by aswath at August 29, 2006 06:30 AM
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