Skype closes its Extras program for developers

There hasn't been enough demand for these plug-in applications

Skype is shutting down Extras, the most important part of its program for outside developers, saying that demand for these third-party plug-ins has been weak.

"Despite the incredible breadth of Extras developed for Skype, simply not enough people were using them to justify our continued support of the Extras programme," Skype official Antoine Bertout wrote Friday in an official blog.

Extras applications are installed within the Skype system so that end users can execute them from within Skype's user interface.

Extras are both free and fee-based.

While Skype will no longer accept new Extras, it will continue offering the existing ones via the Extras Manager interface in Skype for Windows and in the Skype shop.

Skype also plans to continue to maintain all public API (application programming interface) documents and API tools.

The decision to discontinue the Extras program was tough, but it doesn't mean the end of the Skype developer program, according to Bertout.

"While the Extras program didn't work as well as we'd hoped, we still believe there are opportunities for third-party developers to enhance the Skype experience. We'll keep you posted," he wrote.

Skype, eBay's Internet telephony, video conferencing and instant messaging unit, is in the process of changing owners.

EBay, which paid $US2.6 billion to buy Skype in October 2005, has reached an agreement to sell a 65 percent stake in Skype for $US1.9 billion in cash to an investor group led by Silver Lake.

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