Skype’s launch of a new Software Development Kit that offers both software and hardware developers the ability to integrate Skype functionality into their own applications and devices promises to bring a big boon to Linux users.

The SDK provides developers with both API’s for the main Skype feature set (chat, messaging, video, etc) as well as Skype’s audio compression codec ‘SILK’.

By allowing developers access to these core technologies the option is there for Linux developers to create everything from standalone native GTK front-ends to Skype to providing integration with existing messaging applications such as Empathy. The best part is that SkypeKit provides developers with access to Skype without users needing the Skype desktop application running  alongside (like some plug-ins for popular messaging applications.) Skype urge developers to think of SkypeKit as “…a ‘headless’ version of Skype ” that is, a Skype client with no user interface that runs invisibly, not only on PCs, but also TVs, notebooks, and other connected devices.”

Time will tell what fruits are borne from this initiative for strict incensing terms could severely hamper to what extent integration is permitted.

In the mean time, for  more details, check out the official announcement on the Skype blog.

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