There is no doubt about it, Skype was an absolute game-changer. They made it possible for people to use the Internet to communicate both online and on standard phone networks using voice. Gone are the days of needing to use a standard chat client like AIM or ICQ (although many people still do use them), Skype ushered in a new era.
I’ve been using Skype since the days of beta and have relied on them heavily for communicating with clients, co-workers, and friends across the globe. They really made communication possible where it was once too expensive to be a regulate everyday thing.
I appreciated what Skype did and the impact they made. There were a lot of wonderful and talented people behind Skype that made the magic that happens behind-the-scenes all possible. Then Microsoft acquired Skype for 8.5 billion dollars and rather than thanking the employees, the folks who built the company into what it is today, they gave them the ultimate slap in the face.
So Skype employees had stock options, like most startups offer their employees. Many people love the startup environment because rather than just having a job, you’re actually part of something and get to share in the success together. Well it turns-out that Skype had a very unfair employment contract and after the acquision the company decided to do what I honestly think is the unthinkable. They completely nullified the value of the all the options and shares that employees had acquired since working there.
That’s right, Skype employees got screwed, in a major way. Who would have thought in a million years that if the company was a success and bought-out by a major player like Microsoft, suddenly their options would be worth nothing! I think this is an unforgivable move and I’m someone who is pretty darn forgiving in almost every situation but this is just ridiculous.
So I’m throwing in the towel and looking for a new solution. At the end of the day it doesn’t feel right to use a product that was built by so many people who were completely left-out of the success when the company finally got its big payday. Now my question is, who should I use? Is Google Talk the next big thing? Is there room for a new player to enter the market?
Comment and let your voice be heard. What service can we all use to kick Skype to the curb and and help make a new champion in the space?