If not for sugar daddy, I mean, parent company eBay; Skype would have gone the way of the Doh Doh bird years ago.
Sure, it makes long distance bills virtually non-existent. But in this day and age, long distance bills are virtually non-existent anyway. Skype's real savings comes with overseas calls.
Enter the mobile age.
Skype, I believe, is about to find its true home and become more than the telco option of choice for in-the-know geeks.
Nokia has apparantly inked a deal to start bundling Skype software in some of it's smartphone models as soon as the third quarter of this year (just in time to gear up for the fourth quarter holiday shopping bonanza).
Yes, it's been possible before to download Skype onto your current handset. But, it's klugey (spelling?), at best; notorious for not syncing up with things like, oh, the user's address book and calendar.
This will take care of those glitches.
Keep in mind that Nokia is the biggest mobile device maker in the world (as in all of mother Earth, not just select countries).
Other reasons you might stand up and take notice:
1. eBay wins today's "crazy like a fox" award. Let's do the math. Nokia + Skype + more people starting to shop on their mobile = more bidding activity on eBay and more sales. Ka-ching!
2. Could this be the slam dunk way to set up a mobile store front for small online businesses in the not so far away future?
3. Nokia is just the first handset maker to partner up with Skype. Standby for others to follow. How will this work with Google Android and the iPhone?
For a sector of business that prides itself on "no wires", things are getting very tangled now aren't they?
Last updated: Feb 17, 2009
RENEE ORICCHIO is a technology writer and former supervising news producer for CNN Financial News. She has been covering the computer industry since 1987. @oricchio