It appears the days of easy Skype integration with Asterisk, the open-source PBX platform largely maintained by Digium, are coming to an end.
According to Digium, Skype has decided not to renew an agreement that allows Digium to use Skype's proprietary software to turn Asterisk into a native client for the Skype network. Skype for Asterisk sales and activations will cease on July 26, the vendor said.
Digium announced the change in a widely-circulated memo from its product management team dated May 24.
"Representatives of Skype have assured us that they will continue to support and maintain the Skype for Asterisk software for a period of two years thereafter, as specific in the agreement with Digium," reads the memo, viewable online via Eloqua and other sources. "We expect that users of Skype for Asterisk will be able to continue using Asterisk systems on the Skype network until at least July 26, 2013. Skype may extend this at their discretion."
Skype for Asterisk will remain for sale and activation until July 26, according to Digium.
Microsoft announced its intent to acquire Skype for $8.5 billion earlier this month.
The transaction is expected to close within a year, but at the time of the announcement, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said repeatedly that Microsoft would "continue to invest in Skype on non-Microsoft client platforms."
Skype in the past year has been pushing Skype Connect, an updated version of the former Skype for SIP that allows users to connect Skype to their existing PBX systems to make outbound and receive inbound Skype communications, certified to work with a range of PBX and UC systems from everyone from Cisco and Avaya to ShoreTel and Freetalk.
The growth of Asterisk in the channel has been steady over the past few years, and Digium itself has appealed to solution providers looking for lower-cost, feature-rich software iP-PBX systems to offer to customers. As of early 2010, open-source PBX systems accounted for nearly 20 percent of all PBX sales in North America, according to market researcher The Eastern Management Group.
Neither Skype nor Digium immediately responded to a request by CRN for further comment Wednesday.