Why Bother With Both WLM And Skype ?
Makes far more sense to have one single product as they overlap far too much. I expect WLM to die a slow death and eventually be replaced by the Skype brand.
Skype plans to retain its own proprietary P2P protocol even though closer alignment between Windows Live Messenger and the VoIP outfit, at least on some level, is likely in future. Tiit Paananen, manager of Skype's engineering centre in Tallinn, Estonia, said there would be closer links between Skype and Windows Live Messenger …
As long as they don't force me to sign in with a "Live ID" or whatever they call it now. I want to at least pretend it's not Microsoft. If it gets even 10% like the sneaky, hard-to-remove (to the layman), sinister-lurking-in-the-background-and-whispering-with-IE POS that Messenger is, it'll be gone from my machine.
"The audio quality is like two paper cups with a string through them."
You aren't using the correct cups and string, then. Obviously, you need my genuine Aw-D-O-phule Special Optimal Laminar Olefin (SOLO) cups, with my authentic Oxygen-Free Extra Virgin Yak wool twine, hand-woven by Tibetan Throat-Singing monks and harmonized by controlled exposure to my patented All-Natural Harmonic Magnetic Fields, a snip at US$10K a foot.
Then you will have that proper hi-definition, uncolored sound reproduction so lacking from any modern communications protocol.
"Unless there is a court order to record conversations then Skype users are good"
Sounds like a backdoor to me. No technical reason why two peer-to-peer using Skype instances shouldn't generate a totally secure session key, exchanged with each other via PKE (e.g. exactly what SSL does) that would be utterly unbreakable regardless of whether a court order exists. Presumably if a Skype user has a special flag on their account set, the generated session key is deliberately insecure, or escrowed somewhere?
That's the last time I arrange my drug deals and terrorist plots via Skype :V