I love Skype. It’s no secret that I’m a fan of this communications tool. The software evolved from desktop-only to an app that also resides on your smartphone. Recent feature enhancements include desktop sharing and group video. The company has grown tremendously to a point that it hired a Cisco exec as CEO and plans to IPO this year.
But I also realize that it uses proprietary technology. It is voice-over-IP but it is not an open standard. Now a new open source project dubbed GNU Free Call will attempt to offer everything Skype has and then some: SIP adoption.
That’s a big “and then some”… An excerpt of its goal:
Our goal is to make GNU Free Call ubiquitous in a manner and level of usability similar to Skype, that is, usable on all platforms, and directly by the general public for all manner of secure communication between known and anonymous parties, but without requiring a central service provider to register with, without using insecure source secret binary protocols that may have back-doors, and without having network control points of any kind that can be exploited or abused by external parties. By doing so as a self organizing meshed calling network, we further eliminate potential service control points such as through explicit routing peers even if networks are isolated in civil emergencies.
That is quite ambitious, but I have faith in the open source community and will be tracking the project’s progress regularly.