mercoledì 11 maggio 2011

New (secret!) features for Microsoft Skype

Windows Live Friends CallerThe recent announcement that Microsoft is going to buy Skype is highly discussed at every level (financial, marketing, economic, technical, …). I won’t contribute to those discussions, but I feel urged to share some highly confidential information I gathered from insiders who shall remain anonymous (*).

The joint Microsoft+Skype marketing teams have already agreed on a new revolutionary set of features to release after the acquisition is completed.

  • the Skype product will be renamed Windows Live Friend Caller and will be free for personal use, only. The paid version will be called Windows Live Business Caller. Rumors say that a whole family of products (Small Business Caller, Student Caller, Mama Caller, …) is in development.
  • Skype (pardon, Windows Live Friend Caller, aka WLFC) will be included in the Windows Genuine Advantage. If you don’t have a genuine copy of windows, WGA will restrict WLFC to local calls, only. “Local” actually means “in the same building”.
  • Windows Live Friend Caller and Windows Genuine Advantage will team up in the “Proactive Fidelization” program: whenever WGA finds non-licensed or non'-genuine software on your computer, the cost of the license of that software are automatically deducted (for user’s convenience!) from your WLFC credit. Upon reaching the cost of the software, you will receive a chat message containing a legal activation key for your software.
  • Your Skype ID and your MSN (pardon, Windows Live Messenger) ID will be merged. The lucky users that had both accounts, will be offered a special service: you may call yourself for just 0.09 $/min (this special service will be called Windows Live Caller Introspection).
  • Skype for Linux will be discontinued. It never worked well and was years back, feature-wise, so it’s not a big loss. Users calling from (now discontinued) versions of Skype for Linux will be connected to a pre-recorded message kindly suggesting they migrate to Windows.
  • The WLFC service will be started automatically at Windows startup, and will exploit all your available bandwidth to serve as a proxy node and deliver other people’s voice traffic. If you try to disable or block this behavior, the loss of traffic will be automatically debited to your account.
  • Following the success of Internet Explorer, that sends data back to Microsoft to improve Bing’s search results, the new WLFC will send back your calling data, and thanks to language recognition, also the contents of your discussion. In the future, while navigating the Internet, WLFC may suggest friends to call related to the topic you’re reading. Also, Bing will automatically search for contents related to your current conversation. Be careful with what you’re saying, everything you say will be used against for you.

Should I receive further breakthroughs from my fictitianonymous source, I’ll promptly follow-up.

(*) For brevity, call it a fake

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