Earlier today I blogged about how Skype's new $14.95 a year ($29.99 a month for sign-up after January 31) unlimited North American calling plan is a full-frontal assault on the ATA-based VoIP service providers like Vonage, as well as the telcos.
But amazingly, a good portion of the mainstream media as well as some bloggers are totally missing this point.
Loosely paraphrased, much of their take is, OK, well Skype has been giving these calls away since May, and now they realize they have to charge for them.
The fact that Skype has gone from a promotion with a pre-stated expiration date to a paid model has nothing to do with retreat. It has to do with boldness, and of setting the company's services on a path from a headset-bound, IM-based heritage to the telephony services mainstream.
No, Brad Linder of Download Squad. This is not the mothballing of a "service that was too good to last." This is a major, positive and aggressive step for Skype.